What I Wish Someone Told Me BEFORE Taking an Online Course

#1- Online Courses are NOT the easy way out! Opting for online courses over traditional courses is not the easy route for your education. It’s true that online courses offer you the flexibility to learn in your own time and space, but that doesn’t change the amount of work you put in. You still have the same amount of work—just without the formal classroom setting. You must make the time to do the work and not get distracted or behind.

#2- You need to know your learning style, what way do you learn best? People have different learning styles, so an advantage of online learning for one student may be a disadvantage for another. For example, if you like to ask questions during lectures and interact with your professor after class, online courses will be an adjustment for you. Seeking out help will be harder than just walking up to your teacher before or after class. You must be willing to reach out to your teacher via email, text, or phone call.

#3- You must work hard in the beginning to become comfortable with the technology. The first few weeks of your online course will probably be the hardest because not only are you learning the subject matter, you are also learning how to navigate the system, upload work, answer forums, etc. Don’t let this turn you away from learning online, just be ready for it and know that it will become easier. 

#4- Organize your time wisely! It’s your responsibility to take the initiative to keep up with your work when enrolled in online classes. It can be easy to let assignments slide and miss due dates because of the wiggle room and flexibility that come with online courses. Procrastination is a slippery slope and can affect your grade negatively. It’s important to stay organized and follow a schedule because it’s difficult to catch up once you fall behind. 

#5- Always submit your best work. Small assignments such as discussion forums are sometimes seen as ‘not important’ to students and they tend to only partially do the work or the work be messy, with a lot of errors. These small discussions are the way in which your teacher and classmates get to know you and how you feel about different topics. Always write properly, give thorough answers, and go in and respond to classmates to make sure you get full credit.

Thanks to Kristina Erikson from Rasmussen College
Her full article can be found at:
http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/what-i-wish-someone-told-me-before-taking-online-classes/

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