Tips for Success in Online Classes
Though there are similarities, there are some important differences between taking classes online and being in a traditional class. These tips will help you make the most out of your online efforts.
As soon as possible, look over your course and get the "lay of the land." Read the syllabus and note the schedule. Then make sure you know where to find the things you will need in the course. Remember to complete the Introduction to the Course module by the end of the first week of the semester. You can find help using GeorgiaVIEW in the Help Files in the Resources for Students tab inside GeorgiaVIEW.
To be successful online, you really need your own computer and access to the internet. Although our on-campus computer labs are readily available, they are not available 24/7. You need to be able to login to your course and read or complete assignments when you have time. This may not coincide with your on-campus time nor with lab schedules.
One of the great things about taking an online class is that you "go to school" on your own schedule. But some people think this means not having to do anything on a schedule. Just because you don’t have a 9 o’clock class doesn’t mean you can go a week or two without doing your class work. You have to be disciplined about setting aside time for school work every week. Try to login to your courses every day to look for news or messages and to respond to discussion posts for those classes that use them. If you have a hectic life or tend to put-off doing work, you will need to work extra hard at making time for learning.
Along with time management, you have to manage the calendar too. Look at when all your assignments are due and make sure you have time scheduled to complete them. If you know some big event in your life is happening about the same time as a major assignment, you will need to figure-out how you will schedule time for both.
In most online classes, it is going to be very important that you read the material provided. In a traditional class, you may pick-up a lot from lectures and discussions. But online, even the discussions require that you read them. Take time to read your learning materials carefully and thoughtfully. Perhaps print-out important ones to review away from the computer. If you are not a particularly fast reader, make sure you schedule time in your life to read.
An online course also depends greatly on your ability to write. Whether it is through written discussions or papers, you will need to consider your writing carefully. Before hitting the "post" button, make sure you are saying what you need to say. You may try writing your responses offline, in Word for instance, and then copying them into GeorgiaVIEW as needed. This will allow you more editing ability.
More than in a traditional class, you are responsible for your learning. If you are not understanding concepts or how to do assignments, the instructor cannot see your confused face. You have to seek out answers, ask questions, get help. And don’t wait until it is too late to do so. Some courses have discussion areas to post questions to other students and the instructor. Use these resources.
Even if you never see a fellow classmate in person, other students in your class can be a great source of help. Connect through email, chat, and discussions to help with course work. Embrace any group work that may be assigned. And stay connected to your instructor too. Let him or her know if you are struggling and where you need help.
Your instructor doesn’t work 24 hours a day, seven days-a-week. So you may not get a response to an email or an assignment as fast as you would like. Your instructor should provide you with some idea about how long to allow them to respond to you.