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Tips for Succeeding in an Online Course:
(Courtesy of Wor-Wic Community College)

Following the below tips will make your online learning experience easier and more rewarding:

1. Organize your study area and schedule study times.

Make sure the place where you plan to work on your class is quiet and you can work for periods of time without interruption. Schedule enough time during the week to do class work as well as homework, or you may become frustrated. Reserving the same time each week may be helpful.

2. Elicit the help of your support systems.

Sometimes it will be very hard to sit at your computer for hours at a time while others in your household are relaxing or recreating in the evenings and on the weekends. If your family and friends understand the work you have to accomplish they can be a tremendous help by allowing you the time to study and by being your cheerleader.

3. Keep a calendar of class deadlines.

Keep a calendar of when all the work must be done for your class, including your reading assignments, posting assignments and projects. It helps if you give yourself a little extra time before the task actually needs to be done. Set interim goals and stick to them. Do your best not to fall behind in your work -- this is easy to do because you will not be sitting in class having the instructor to remind you, nor will you see other students completing the work.

4. Participate in class sessions.

Class participation -- whether in the form of chat room conversations or posting to discussion areas -- is essential in an online format. It not only is required in most classes, but it also helps take away the isolated feeling that you may get when you're sitting alone in front of your computer. The more you participate, the more you will feel a part of the class.

5. Communicate regularly with your instructor.

Don't hesitate to contact your instructor if you have questions about the course, or to update him or her on your progress. Your instructor will let you know if he prefers communicating with you by the discussion board or by email.

6. Find a study partner.

Blackboard includes an email feature so that you can email other students in your class. If the course does not require any group work, find a person in your class that you can email and communicate with regularly. Discussing the course with a classmate may be very helpful in understanding the curriculum and completing assignments.

7. Log-on to your course more than a couple times a week.

Even though you may not be posting information or submitting assignments, it will spur your interest and keep you updated to log-on frequently and keep up with your classmates' postings. It can be frustrating to join your class at the end of the week and find you have missed entire discussions.

8. Be polite and use good communication skills.

Remember that you are dealing with people, not computers when you respond to your class. Be thoughtful and read over your postings before submitting them. Use good grammar skills and respect others' opinions when commenting on someone else's work. This is absolutely necessary to create a positive environment.

9. Everyone makes posting mistakes.

The online format is new for many students and everyone makes a mistake once in a while by posting in the incorrect place, or having a couple of typos in their responses. Relax, it's a learning situation and this is all part of the process.


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