How to be SuccessfulOnline learning can be an exciting and a different way of learning. It provides flexibility in scheduling and a learning environment quite different from the traditional classroom. In an online course, you have more control over your learning timetable. Technology provides a powerful tool for learners to acquire new skills and knowledge, outside of the boundaries of the traditional classroom. It provides an environment of reduced lecture time and often incorporates online tools where you can receive immediate feedback.
While online learning provides great advantages, it will also present you with challenges that you might not face to the same extent in the traditional classroom.
Challenge #1 - PROCRASTINATION / TIME MANAGEMENTThe #1 cause of failure for students in online classes is procrastination. Set aside uninterrupted time and space to work on your online course. Have someone else watch the kids, close your office door. Look forward to the quality time you spend with the class materials. Write down a schedule and stick to it. Due dates have been established by your instructor to help you pace yourself through the course. If you have specific questions about the due dates in your course, communicate with your instructor. Note that the academic deadlines (last days for adding, dropping, withdrawing, etc.) are the same for online courses and traditional classroom courses. See the current academic calendar for deadlines.
Challenge #2 - GETTING HELPLearning on your own can be challenging, but help is available. Do not confuse online learning with learning in isolation. Use the available resources. Contact your instructor for help in understanding the material you are studying or use the class Discussion Board. Contact the student HelpDesk for help with technical difficulties. Use the different tutoring centers on-campus. Faculty and staff are eager to assist you, and are anxious for you to have a positive learning experience. Use these valuable resources that have been put in place for you.
Challenge #3 - TECHNOLOGY PROBLEMSOccasionally, computers, networks and your internet service provider will have technical difficulties for minute, a few hours, or in some cases a day or two. Plan on these things happening on occasion, and give yourself enough flex time in your schedule to work around these planned and unplanned “down times.” Be proactive and seek immediate assistance. When in a pinch, computers are always available on-campus and in public libraries. It is always wise to keep a backup copy of all assignments.
Challenge #4 - COMMUNICATIONYour instructors will contact you regularly with announcements and information about your eCourse. Check your GCC student e-mail account and the Announcements posted in Canvas 2-3 times a week. You may also find useful information about assignments from the course Discussion Board. Students who fail to check these resources miss updated information that is necessary to succeed in the class. Review the Netiquette guidelines for communicating online with your instructor and classmates.
Because your instructor does not physically see you on a regular basis, make sure to stay in contact. Make an appointment to meet your instructor face to face. Make sure to submit assignments on time. Send an email to your instructor on a regular basis letting him/her know how you are progressing on a particular assignment or how you are scheduling your time in order to successfully complete the course.