Online learning presents unique challenges, requiring more independence and self-discipline than face to face courses. Try these strategies to help you find success in your online course.
Prior to starting a course
- Communicate and collaborate with your family and employer to gain support.
- Create a comfortable workspace that helps you focus.
- Familiarize yourself with technology requirements, test tools, and make any needed updates. Contact InterPro Online Support for help, if needed.
- Explore the online learning environment.
At the beginning of the course
- Understand the requirements. Thoroughly read the course syllabus to know what is expected.
- Add major due dates and milestones to your calendar.
- Set goals and post them somewhere visible in your workspace.
- Create and commit to a consistent study schedule.
Throughout the Course
- Connect with your instructor and classmates. Try to make a meaningful connection with at least one other classmate.
- Actively participate. Your input and participation are the key to your success.
- Ask questions. Use the preffered lines of communication.
- Start assignments early, break them into smaller tasks, and allow plenty of time for completion.
In Discussion Forums
- Be timely. Joining the conversation as its wrapping up limits your engagement.
- Read what others have posted before making your contributions.
- Think through ideas before responding. Focus on quality.
- Write consicely. Aim for 1-2 paragraphs at most.
- Look for opportunities to make connections, ask probing questions, and challenge assumptions.
- Welcome diverse opinions and be willing to change your mind after hearing others' thoughts.
- Share news articles and other real-world examples that show application of your learning.
- Use quotes and textual evidence from course readings to support your ideas.
- Check back and respond to replies on your posts to keep the conversation flowing.
- Use the subscription and/or notification features to help manage your time and attention.
These strategies have been synthesized from the following resources:
What Makes a Successful Online Student? University of Springfield Illinois ION Professional eLearning Programs
10 Tips for Success in Online Classes Arizona State University Online
How Students Develop Online Learning Skills EDUCAUSE Review, Alan R. Roper