The online student
Online studying offers you the convenience and flexibility to match your learning goals and busy lifestyle. At the same time, it’s important to consider the specific set of skills that you would need to apply, along with general study skills, in order to be a successful student online.
So take a look at the sections that follow, engage with the suggestions and opportunities, and get set to be a really successful online student!
Develop a time management strategy
We all know it’s not always easy to manage time, especially when there are plenty of distractions and no-one to say, Hey! Time to study! But a personal schedule that factors in daily responsibilities, times to participate in class discussions and time to research, read and complete tasks and assessments will make things a whole lot easier. In fact, it may well be the critical factor in you getting the most from your online study experience.
Make the most of online discussions
Log on, tune in and post! Question, comment, mull over a fellow student’s idea, respond to a suggestion from your facilitator. In short, make the most of collaboration and you can expect to engage more meaningfully with course material and other participants. Who knows, you may find yourself learning more from your online classmates than you expected.
Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
Use it or lose it!
Finding a way to retain the information and concepts learned online is critical to your success. You could apply what you’ve learned to past or current experience in your workplace, or compare it to knowledge you’ve learned in previous study situations. Just as helpful is using the online discussions to interpret and restate concepts in your own words, or taking notes to help you grasp the main ideas more clearly.
Make questions useful for your learning
Asking regular questions is integral to your successful online learning. Make use of the forums, social networks, email, live chats or any of the communication tools available in your online course to ask questions. Taking the time to craft thoughtful questions, and engaging with those of facilitators and fellow students, will allow you to look more deeply at a subject or issue. Also, asking yourself questions during the learning process will help you gain an understanding of your own ability to complete tasks and assignments effectively.
As an online student, you must develop your own self-motivation plan, with techniques that work for you. What motivated you to do this course? What motivates you to stay focused on your study? Perhaps the desire for high grades and a good job at the end of it? Or do you plan to reward yourself at the completion of your course? It could be that giving and receiving encouragement and feedback helps you stay focused. Or are you determined to turn in only the highest quality work? Whatever your method, it has to work for you because staying motivated is ultra-important.
Communicate with your facilitator
Facilitators in online courses usually employ a range of techniques aimed at engaging you. This might be something as simple and effective as posting initial discussion material and questions, then following up with personalised questions and online resources. You will be asked for feedback about your learning experience during the course. Let it be known which communication techniques work best for you, and it’ll be taken on board so as to provide you with the best possible online learning experience.
Follow the orientation and induction program
You will find it critical to your successful study online to follow the orientation and induction program provided by OP and your teacher. This orientation will not only describe your course requirements, but also explain the specific online tools and strategies you will need to be a successful student online. If your course is blended, you will learn what part of the course will be online.
There is a range of learning skills you’ll need to be successful in any kind of study, and as you’ll see, many of these skills are essential for studying online as well. Together with those specific to online study, these skills will stand you in good stead. So if you need some support with, say, academic writing, critical reading, or how to approach assignments, then take a look at the learning skills resources provided on this website or contact Student Success.
This work includes material from the following sources.
Hero image: Puzzle. Annca [image]. Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/puzzle-share-fit-piecing-together-1261138/ Licensed under Creative Commons CC0 Universal
Study for Success. Required Academic Competency to Succeed in Online Courses. Retrieved from http://tutorials.istudy.psu.edu/learningonline/learningonline3.html Licensed under Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported