Monday, February 21, 2011

Top 10 Tips to Succeeding in an Online Course

If you want to be successful in an online course then make sure that you note these tips.

Are you taking your first ever class online? Or have you taken classes before but only done moderately well in them? It isn’t always easy to succeed in online classes. However, with some top tips in mind, it’s possible to be successful in any online course.

Here are ten top tips to follow if you want to be at the top of your online class:

  1. 1.    Attend class at a set time each week. Although the online class format often allows you to study any time you want to, it’s best to stick to a schedule. Set time aside on your calendar each day or week for studying and doing homework. This will help you avoid the problem of falling too far behind in your online class.
  2. 2.     Keep a calendar showing all of your deadlines. One of the problems that online students often have is that they miss deadlines and even tests. They simply forget to log on to their classes and check when things are due. What a dumb reason to fail an online class! Make sure that you keep a calendar of deadlines on your computer and check it regularly.
  3. 3.     Find a place where you can work consistently. Although it’s nice that you can do your online class work from anywhere, you’ll find that there are places where you don’t work well. Some people get distracted if they try to work at home where their family is. Others work fine at home but get distracted in coffee shops. Find the place that works best for you and stick with it.
  4. 4.     Ask questions. Many online students feel like it’s their responsibility to figure out the material on their own. This is a mistake. Make sure that you regularly ask questions of your teachers and peers so that you fully understand the material that you are studying.
  5. 5.     Lessen your course load if necessary. After a few weeks, you’ll easily be able to tell if you’re taking too many online classes or if you’re going to make it through the semester. If you need to drop classes, do it early in the semester when it doesn’t cost you a lot of money or result in incomplete grades.
  6. 6.     Form a study group. You may find that you do better when you do have some sort of opportunity to meet in person with other people. You can connect with other students in your local area to study together in person. If you’re in a remote area away from other students, try to form an online video conferencing study group.
  7. 7.     Set aside study time before finals. Make sure that you clear your calendar of your other obligations during this important time of the semester. Take a few days off of work and don’t plan any trips or other appointments during this time.
  8. 8.     Be prepared for your computer to fail. To succeed in an online course, you need to have steady, quality access to the Internet. Don’t assume that this will be the case all semester. Plan for problems. Keep backup disks of all of your course materials. Make sure that you have a plan for where you can study and complete tasks at the last minute in case your own computer fails. Public libraries and friends’ computers are top options to have as a backup.
  9. 9.     Don’t give up. If you feel like you’re not doing well in the class, it’s easy to give up. You can just stop signing on to your class online. However, you’re only hurting yourself when you do that. Instead, call your counselor and talk over the situation to find a better solution.
  10. 10.  Take your education seriously. All of these other tips add up to one common sense tip that many students don’t follow when they attend school online. That tip is to take your education seriously. This is a real education. It costs real money. It takes real time. And it results in a real degree. By keeping that in mind, you’ll do what you need to do to succeed in your online classes.

What do you think is the toughest part about succeeding in an online course?

Chase Jenkins is a freelance writer for helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online college education and online school they can choose from to reach their goals.

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