Discover how to learn online
Online education is becoming increasingly popular as the technological capabilities of virtual classrooms continue to improve. With traditional schools branching out and improving their online education course offerings, you also have more options than ever when it comes to choosing a school.
If you're interested in continuing your education online, it's essential that you build a skill set that will ensure your academic success. One of the greatest things about online higher education is that you can self-direct your learning. However, as great as the freedom and flexibility of online learning are, some students also struggle to make the transition. Knowing what to expect before you start will help ease you into the world of distance learning.
The Structure of a Typical Online Education Course
Whether you're doing an online education degree or just taking a couple of courses, your classes will be structured pretty much the same way every time. When the course starts, a syllabus will be distributed electronically, which will detail the topics to be studied, assignments and due dates, and student expectations.
You will self-direct your learning, reading course materials and doing assignments when you can schedule the time. Most online courses offer you the chance to participate in one or two scheduled class chat sessions, and your instructor is always available via email if you have questions. You may also have access to an electronic discussion board where you can exchange messages with fellow classmates.
Tips for Success in an Online Education Program
If you're making your first foray into the world of online education, it pays to have a plan. The transition from the traditional classroom to self-directed learning can be difficult for some people. Keep these tips in mind to give yourself the best chance of success:
- Create a study plan. When you receive the syllabus, go over it in detail so you know what to expect from week to week. Break down the course material into manageable chunks and highlight assignment due dates so you're not scrambling to finish anything at the last minute.
- Stick to a schedule. If possible, commit a regularly scheduled time to your online course. Whether it's an hour a morning three days a week, or three hours late on a Thursday night, the regularity will help you be more productive.
- Interact with your virtual classmates. Hit the class chat forum regularly; if you encounter problems, you'll have friends to turn to for help.
- Reach out to your instructor. Don't be afraid to email or IM your instructor at any time. He or she is there to help and is your best resource if you're encountering problems.
- Apply your knowledge. Whenever you can, look for real-world ways to apply the information you've been learning. If you're taking an accounting class, balance your checkbook. If you're taking an English class, read great works of literature the course doesn't cover.