Tips and Techniques for Success with Online Courses

Social distancing has brought with it a new reality that would directly impact our education system for the next few months. Moving forward, the class lesson plan will continue online. Unless you’ve already had some experience with them, taking online college courses can represent a bit of a learning curve according to BestSchools.org. Hopefully they could benefit you . Remember as all things practice makes perfect. There are many benefits to online courses such as developing self-motivation. For many students this is a convenient way to juggle personal, professional, and academic responsibilities. Online students will have the flexibility to schedule class time in a way that works around their lifestyle.

Review the Syllabus.

Sign into your course material as early as possible. A week before the start of the course your instructor usually opens the course on Canvas. Some students discover that looking over the syllabus and taking note of key dates to be beneficial to staying organized. Doing so will give you a general idea of what to expect going forward. Plus, it just feels better to be ahead of things as opposed to being behind schedule.

Communicate with Your Instructor

The most important thing to remember is to keep the lines of communications open with your instructors. I learned this through experience, and it wasn’t always pleasant. Hopefully this doesn’t have to happen to you . If you fall behind, then make sure to communicate your intentions to your instructor. They need to know that you are still present. Your instructor understands that life happens. You’ll rarely meet an instructor who wasn’t willing to work with you. Most teachers want their students to succeed. For goodness sakes, it takes a special kind of person who chooses to teach.

Get a Handle on the Tech Requirements for the Course

Make sure to download all the technical requirements. If the course is run through Canvas, many students find it beneficial to download the app on their smart phone, because they can study literally anywhere and anytime. For example , I remember a time that I completed a few lessons and a quiz while standing in long lines with my kids at a local amusement park. It’s very helpful! There are times when you can turn on the speech text feature like while you’re working out or washing dishes . Are you able to see how convenient you could make an online course work for you?

Some online courses require that you download Proctorio. This is an exam monitoring software that ensures the exams are completed with integrity, but in order to use Proctorio you must have a web cam. Make sure your computer system is compatible with the software. Without one or the other you can’t complete the exams. So, what should you do then? This means you may have to go to the Assessment Center of your college. Click link to the Assessment Center at Coastline College for more information.

Learn and Know the Resources Offered to You

Learn and review Coastline’s website so you know how to access library, upcoming classes, website info, technical support, and more. Also make sure you know how to contact your school, teachers, and other people when you have a question or concern. Take time to click on each tab on the school website to see what they all do and represent before you get started. Access the website, Coastline College and familiarize yourself with all of the resources provided. Pay special attention to the Online Learning section of the website which will assist you with resources available to you. Get familiar with the Distance Learning Center as it is the department that combines technology with textbooks and printed materials to bring course content, instructor, and students together. If you have questions, contact the Distant Learning Department. They are helpful and are there for just that reason. Go to Distant Learning Department for more information.

Time Management

You will have to treat this like a job! How are you with your time management? Sometimes it’s hard to self-motivate yourself to stay up to the task but know that attendance is checked just like any other class. While it may not be necessarily on a set schedule, it will be based on a hours per week basis. Know when you learn best. For some it will be at night for others their brain performs best in the morning . If you can designate a fixed study block of time, you will make yourself accountable to your commitment and complete your weekly studies. Try to stay organized and manage your time wisely. You do not want to fall behind in your online course because once you fall behind then it becomes hard to catch up. Always try to stay ahead of your scheduled assignments. This can be a challenge for some students and a breeze for others . You definitely will see some students asking when a certain assignment will open up weeks before its due, but one great thing about online courses, is that your progress is only known between you and your instructor.

Find a Quiet Place and Remove all Distractions

While some prefer their own home to study, there are others that need to leave the distractions of their residence to achieve concentration. Have you ever noticed how much work you can get done at the library? The silence there allows a person to achieve higher levels of concentration. You need to know where you function best and try to discover this as soon as possible. This way you can start being as productive in your course as your potential will allow.

Set up Notifications

After you have downloaded Canvas then set up the notifications to alert you as soon as they come in. I say this because the teachers are going to send them out so fast sometimes and you are going to want to know what they are saying . Assignment dates are going to change or maybe the assignments will change completely, so it will be beneficial to know course changes as they occur. It also helps to sync Canvas to your cellphone’s Calendar App or make sure you check your email daily for updates.

Complete your Weekly Assignments

Now when attending an onsite weekly class, you may not experience weekly assignments if you attend, however there most likely will be weekly assignments online. Why? The instructors need to know how you are absorbing the information provided . Review your modules. Check your to do list. Review the lectures and complete all assignments.

Discussions

Participate in the weekly classroom discussions. It’s a must and it may be the most important part of the course grade. Weekly class discussions are beneficial because they allow students to connect to their classmates and it is important to network at every opportunity as it presents itself.

Reach out for Help

Reach out if you don’t understand a topic or if you are having any trouble with the contents. Whether it’s with the teacher or with the students in your class. The teacher will designate an open discussion area within Canvas which can be used for question and answer on any open topic . Don’t be afraid to use it for asking your questions related to the course. There are times that it takes someone to break the ice first. If you’re shy you can use the email portion of your Canvas . This feature allows the student to either connect with anyone in their class privately as well as their instructor . Isn’t that great ?

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