8 Ways to Be a Better Online Learner

Barry Lenson

Eight Ways to Be a Better Online Learner

All students know that certain strategies lead to success in the classroom. If you raise your hand, answer questions, respect other students and chat with the instructor after class, you will do better and probably earn a higher grade.

Similar skills exist for online learning too. Let’s take a closer look . . .

Success tip #1: Before you enroll, make sure you will have the time to pursue the coursework. Even though most college courses online don’t have rigid class schedules, you will still need the time to study, write assignments and take part in online class activities. It’s wisest to take classes when you are sure you will have enough time – like over the summer months.

Success tip #2:  Devote an hour to studying the course materials and design before you dive into your first unit or lesson. Where will you get and post your assignments? How can you contact the instructor? Is there a discussion board where you and other students can connect? If you answer those questions ahead of time, you will get off to a stronger start and do better in your online course.

Success tip #3: Establish contact with your course instructor as soon as the course begins. Open the lines of communication by sending a short message to introduce yourself. Then when you really need to contact your instructor with a question about an assignment, your relationship will already be in place.

Success tip #4: Work according to a daily study schedule. One rule of thumb is that you should plan to spend two hours every week studying for every credit you are earning in an online course. Try to schedule those hours in and around your other life commitments. Also remember that you are most mentally alert at certain times of the day – such as in the early morning or in the two hours after your evening meal.

Success tip #5: Back up all your work in several places. Even if you will be submitting assignments online, be sure to have backup copies stored safely on both your computer and an online backup service or external drive.

Success tip #6: Pay special attention to the times when you will complete course assignments or take online exams. Try to tackle them at times when you are rested and free from family or work pressures.

Success tip #7: Consider forming a study group. Classroom students do it, and you can too. Such study groups can be virtually organized on a class discussion board, or they can actually meet in person. So consider asking your instructor if there are other students in your area who can join your academic “team.”

Success tip #8: Talk about your coursework with your friends and family members. It’s a great way to minimize “the loneliness of the long-distance learner” and enliven your course. And when you tell people about your coursework, they are likely to keep asking you how it is going. That alone can keep you motivated and moving forward in your online work.

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Stay Focused! Tips for Students who Study Online
The Art of Being a Good Student . . .

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