Getting Your Degree Online: 5 Tips for Success

Getting Your Degree Online: 5 Tips for Success
Beth Dumbauld

By Danika Rockett, Ph.D.

If you’re like millions of other students, you probably realize how convenient and cost-effective online courses can be. At StraighterLine, we want to help you obtain the degree that you want so you can have the career of your dreams.

Not sure where to start? Get your free personalized degree plan today!

To help you along this path, here are some tips for succeeding in online courses:

1 - Create a schedule.

We understand that you’re most likely busy juggling life, work, and school. The good news is that your StraighterLine courses are self-paced, and you are free to complete them at your convenience. Still, it’s a great idea to devise a schedule that works for you to keep you on track for achieving your goals.

Creating a schedule can help you stay organized, too. Ideally, try to make a schedule that is consistent from week to week. If your schoolwork becomes a routine, you will be more likely to succeed and complete your course by your goal date. Try breaking your course down into smaller chunks, and keep yourself accountable by scheduling when you plan to complete them.

2 - Do the course topics in sequence.

In general, each consecutive assignment builds upon the skills you learned in prior assignments and lessons. For example, the first three assignments in English 101 are the Fable Narrative, the Descriptive Paragraph, and the Summary Exercise. The skills used to write these assignments will be very useful in subsequent, longer essays. Likewise, the basic algebraic operations you master in Topic 1 of College Algebra are necessary for proficiency in the more challenging lessons that will follow.

Want to see how it works? Take two free lessons on us today!

3 - Purchase your textbooks.

Trying to complete a course successfully without the assigned textbook is like being stranded in the middle of a forest with no GPS or map. Textbooks may sound like old technology, but they provide a solid foundation and resource for learning concepts in an organized and accessible format. Whenever possible, we have started using convenient eTextbooks, which provide more flexibility and some nifty tools such as highlights and index searching.

4- Find a suitable place to study.

Where you choose to study might depend on your personal learning style: Some students study well with music playing whereas others need total silence. No matter what your preference, it’s a great idea to have an established location where you know you can study effectively.

5 - Ask for help!

If you need help with any aspect of your course, an advisor is always ready to offer assistance. You can chat live or just give us a call. Remember, all StraighterLine Memberships also come with free live access to a tutor, ensuring that one-on-one academic support is always there when you need it.

Need to know how to get started? Download our free guide on How to Go back to College today!

About the Author: Danika Rockett, Ph.D., is manager of strategic partnerships at StraighterLine, and course manager specializing in English composition and communication. As a former English and Technical Communication professor, she manages all courses that involve qualitative assessment; she also helps develop and improve course content.  She has nearly 10 years of university teaching experience, both online and in the classroom. 

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