I love continuing my education, right in the comfort of my own home. Can you imagine this – having the flexibility and freedom to attend classes according to my own schedule, choosing the course I want, and having easy access to all the materials for classes for the next lesson?If you too, are an online student, you could probably relate with me. However, if you are considering an online education, there are 7 important tips to know about continuing your education online, and how to be a successful online student:1) You must be able to communicate through writing.As you are attending a virtual classroom, nearly all communication is written, and in order to fully participate in classes, it is critical that you are able to express yourself effectively through writing.2) Motivation and self-discipline.When you attend a conventional school, you have your friends and teachers to motivate you and even ‘punish’ you if you do not complete your assignments. Not in the world of online education. You must therefore be highly motivated and disciplined, and take responsibility for your own education.3) Learn to ‘speak up’In the traditional world of education, if the teacher sees that the students look confused or unsure of what has been taught, he/she will repeat it until the students are clear. However in the online world, the instructors are unable to know if the students are able to keep up to speed with the lessons, unless the students ‘speak up’.4) Have a different attitude towards online educationMost students nowadays think that online education is the easy way to get an education. That is far from the truth. In fact, continuing your education online may be harder than a normal education, due to the strict quality control most online schools enforce. Therefore, view it as a convenient way to get an education, and not an easy way.5) Practise critical thinking and decision makingThe online learning process requires the student to be decisive in making decisions based on information provided, along with experience. And making the right decision requires critical thoughts.6) ParticipateOne of the most important tips is to participate actively in a virtual classroom. You can learn a lot from your peers as well, and this makes continuing your education online a much more fun process.7) Be polite and respectfulAlthough you are anonymous, be wary of your language. You are after all dealing with real teachers and students, and it is crucial to have a productive and supportive online environment. In such positive environments, you will feel more valued, and your own work will have higher value naturally.Online education is starting to take the world by storm, and more and more students are turning to virtual schools to get their accredited online degrees. If this sounds good, you can always request for your free online education match, and decide for yourself if continuing your education online is suitable for you.
Deciding to pursue further educational opportunities is a big enough decision in itself. Deciding to pursue that goal online creates new and different challenges somewhat different from those in a face-to-face setting. You’ll have questions such as:o What will it be like not having the opportunity to meet my instructor?o What kinds of assignments will I have?o How will I access the assignments?o How will I turn in the assignments?o When will I do my work?o Do I need a textbook? If so, how will I get it?o Will I have the opportunity to interact with my classmates?With those questions in mind, and having received my masters degree online as well as being an online course developer and instructor, I thought it would be helpful to offer some answers to your questions and tips for having a successful online learning experience.o First things first – once you receive your username and password, log into our class and explore the site thoroughly. Click on all buttons to see what things are and what resources your instructor has made available to you. You should have access to information regarding accessing and submitting assignments. If not, this would be a good question for your instructoro Look through the assignments to get an overview of the expectations for the course.o If a textbook is needed, make sure you obtain it right away.o Where appropriate, print out information that you’ll need to access regularly.o Send an email to your instructor introducing yourself and asking any questions you have. Do this whether you have questions or not! Developing an early relationship with your instructor is very important. It lets him/her know a little about you and personalizes your online experience.o If there is a Discussion Board, post a comment or question for your classmates. This will initiate communication which will be valuable as your progress through the course. If someone else has already posted, respond to that post to continue the conversation.o It is so easy to let things “slide” when you don’t have a classroom to report to or have the “evil eye” of an instructor should you fall behind, It is IMPERATIVE that you establish a routine immediately so you do not fall behind. Catching up can present challenges that are difficult to overcome.o Throughout the course, continue entering posts in the Discussion Board. Get to know your classmates.o Send a weekly email to your instructor, even if its intent is purely conversational.o Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! Online learning is an exciting experience! Make the most of it!!