Once you’ve decided on which online courses to take, the hard work really begins. Although online courses have a lot in common with traditional classroom courses, there are some things you’ll have to do differently in order to make the most of the opportunity and succeed. Here are three tips:
Online classes require lots of participation to keep the information flowing and the interest level high, and you, as a student, are responsible for part of that. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and offer new perspectives; you never know what riveting, helpful discussions may result. As a bonus, the more involved you are, the more you’ll enjoy the class–and the more you’ll learn.
Since nearly all of your communication and assignments for online courses will be communicated via email, you have to be extra careful regarding what you send. Yes, you should watch typos and grammatical mistakes, especially when writing to your instructor, but also pay attention to phrasing and try to anticipate whether something you’ve written could potentially be misconstrued. Without verbal cues, sometimes email messages come across differently than the sender had intended, so be sure to reread before sending your first draft.
While some aspects of online learning mean instant results or communication, with online courses, you have to learn to deal with delay. While your instructor and classmates aim to respond as promptly as possible, they just may be on a different schedule than you are. Try to be patient as you wait for responses, work on other parts of the syllabus, and otherwise fill your allotted study time with course activities – don’t use the delay as an excuse to stray on the Internet just because you’re already online anyway.