Stay on track in your online degree program
An online degree program is a dream come true for many because of the convenience it affords students. There’s no commute to campus, you have the freedom to design your own schedule and you can even attend class in your pajamas. But with great freedom comes great responsibility. Online education means there’s no professor in the room to explain the concepts you might not understand right away, and there’s no active classroom discussion to make notes from when other students bring up relevant information. When you’re an online student, you have to be very disciplined to make sure you learn everything you’re supposed to learn on your own.
1. Be an active participant in your online classes. Online degree courses typically feature discussion forums and chat features so that you can discuss class topics with your peers. It’s a good idea to check your course site on a regular, even daily, basis. Also, many instructors will require you to post comments about the main ideas or concepts from each class. This proves that you read the required material and also lets your instructor know how much you understand. But to really get into the study material and make the most of your online class experience, read the comments of your classmates, ask questions and inspire discussions. The more you participate, the more you’re likely to learn, and you’ll probably fare better on assignments and exams.
2. Create a good study space at home. There’s no virtual library where you can go to study for your online classes! You need a place where you can stay organized and be able to concentrate, whether you’re writing papers or completing other assignments. Your study time should be free of distractions—turn off the TV, send the kids to play and put the dog outside. It’s easy to fall into a procrastination trap when you’re an online student, but if you have a dedicated, organized space for your work, you’ll be able to make more efficient use of your time.