Useful Tips for Online Learning
If you have just enrolled in your first online course, you have to be well prepared and ready to study for it. You have to assess if it needs more, less or the same level of commitment with the traditional instructor-led class you are used to. You have to also figure out the best strategies for studying in online learning. In this article, we will share some useful study tips for online learners that will help them succeed while studying for their online courses.
Here are some tips for succeeding in your online courses:
- Understand online learning practices and expectations.
The first thing you need to realize is that online courses are not an easier way to learn, but rather a more convenient one. To successfully learn online, you need to dedicate a significant amount of your time, consistently attend the program, be concentrated while studying, and fully commit to your learning process, just as you would do for a regular course. You should also have in mind that when you take an online course, you may be expected to:
- Fully commit yourself and participate in the virtual classroom as required.
- Be, or be willing to become, tech-savvy.
- Work with others effectively.
- Complete your learning tasks and assignments on time.
- Be self-disciplined.
If you are not able or willing to do all of the above, you will probably not be a very happy online learner.
- Stay Connected: Reach out to your instructors, teaching assistants and peers when you need help or have a question. Be willing to “speak up” if problems arise. Your instructor needs to know right away if you are having any problems with the technology or the course requirements.
- Limit Distractions: Claim a space in your home and stick to the routine.
- Set Aside Time: Make sure you can spend the time needed to do a good job on the course.
- Be Self-motivated and Self-disciplined. You will need to log into your course(s) regularly. It’s easy to fall behind in an online course. Create your weekly work calendar; stick to it and don’t be afraid to re-adjust.
- Participate and share your experience, ideas, and perspective with your instructor and other students.
- Be able to communicate through writing and use good “netiquette” when communicating online.
- Be willing to “speak up” if problems arise. Your instructor needs to know right away if you are having any problems with the technology or the course requirements.
- Take full advantage of NHCC resources
NHCC has a variety of online and on-site resources available to students. Online tutoring provided by Tutor.com as well as on-campus tutoring, instructional video tutorials by Hoonuit, 24/7 access to library resources, free Microsoft Office 365 products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), one Drive account for file storage and sharing, WebEx web-conference account for online group collaboration, library, computer labs, and the Student Mobile App to learn on the go. Familiarize yourself with available resources to use them for increased learning experience and success in your online courses.
- Motivation and IndependenceTo be successful, an online student has to want to succeed. Online learning requires independence, internal motivation, responsibility, and a certain level of maturity. Have you given some thought to your own personal reasons for attending school? Are you determined and self-motivated to succeed in school?There are many worthwhile reasons to work hard in school. You might want a greater level of personal satisfaction with your future career. Or perhaps it’s personal pride in your accomplishments. Or maybe you are seeking a wider range of opportunities available to you with higher education or a higher income.
- A Good Study EnvironmentAnother critical component of academic success is a good study environment.
- Get some peace and quiet. You will need a quiet place to work without distractions from things like television, family, or roommates.
- Avoid games. Consider uninstalling any computer games to avoid temptation. Or keep the games on a different computer in the house.
- Turn off your cell phone. Let friends and family members know the hours that you will be “at” school.
- Beware surfing the black hole of the Internet. It is easy to lose track of the time as you wander from site to site.
- Consider ergonomics. Adjust the height of your chair, keyboard, and screen so that you are comfortable. Forearms and thighs should be level and parallel to the floor. Wrists should not be bent while typing.
- Set up good lighting and comfortable seating. Lighting in the room should be at least as bright as the computer screen to avoid eye strain.
When participating in online classes you will be speaking through writing and, at times, through audio or video to your instructors and fellow students, so it is imperative that you communicate clearly and professionally. Setting and following these simple netiquette rules in your online class will ensure your success.
- Show respect for the instructor and for other students in the class
- Respect the privacy of other students
- Express differences of opinion in a polite, rational, and professional way
- Maintain an environment of constructive feedback when commenting on the work of other students
- Avoid bringing up irrelevant topics when involved in group discussions or other collaborative activities
The following list summarizes the kind of behavior that is not acceptable in an online learning program. Each item listed below could be brought forth for judicial action and possible removal from the class.
- Showing disrespect for the instructor or for other students in the class.
- Sending messages or comments that are threatening, harassing, unprofessional, or offensive
- Using inappropriate or offensive language
- Conveying a hostile or confrontational tone when communicating or working collaboratively with other students