Motivation, planning, and good study habits are the keys to success in college, and are particularly important for students participating in online or distance learning.
Here are some useful tips compiled by other students to help you get the most from your online education:
Develop good time management skills:
- Set aside a specific time each week to log on and review the course material.
- Allow additional time for research, reading, and completing assignments.
- Use a daily planner to keep track of assignments, tests, and appointments
- Balance your studies with work and family commitments.
Set up good study habits:
- Set aside an area for studying that is free of distractions.
- Make sure you have the necessary supplies handy - you will still need such items as paper and pencils for online classes.
- Tell family and friends that success in your course is important and that you need to be able to study without interruptions. Ask for their help in reaching your goals.
- Organize your course material. Make notes about important facts in your reading or on the online lecture.
- Prepare for each class in advance.
- Send in your assignments on time. Contact your professors about any extenuating circumstances that prevent timely submission of work.
- Plan ahead so you won't have to stay up all night to "cram" or finish assignments.
Take advantage of online and campus resources:
- Keep handy the email addresses and telephone numbers for professors, help desks, and tutors.
- Develop a directory of helpful websites for support or research and bookmark the links.
- Join a virtual community of students taking the same or similar classes. Set up an online study group and exchange telephone numbers if everyone is willing.
- Follow the rules of online etiquette and be aware of the college's online policies.
- Get to know your professors by email or on campus visits. Tell him or her about yourself and your educational plans, and do not hesitate to ask for clarification or help when necessary.
- Set educational goals in advance.
- Clarify your major. Use campus resources or reputable websites for assistance.
- Develop a backup plan in case your computer is down or you lose electricity. Find a public or campus computer you can use in an emergency. Allow adequate time for assignments just in case.
- Meet with an advisor or use online advising for help with planning.