Starting an online degree program can be challenging for many students. It is important to understand that most online classes are just as challenging as in-person classes. They may even be more challenging because much of the responsibility for attending lectures and turning in assignments on time falls on the online student. Ready to take classes online to get your degree or diploma? Here are 8 tips to excel in online degree programs.
#1 Get Motivated
During an online degree program, the student will have to be self-motivated and show initiative to attend lectures and get assignments done on time. It is up to the student to be on-time and ready to learn.
#2 Get Organized
Make sure your work space is not cluttered and you have all the school supplies you need. Everything you need during an online degree program should be within arm’s reach so you don’t miss a thing.
#3 Reduce Distractions
Make sure to turn off your cell phone and put up a sign on your door, “Learning in Progress” so you aren’t distracted while learning at home. Don’t forget to turn off notifications on your computer. Nothing is more disruptive to learning than a notification from Facebook or an email notification from Outlook. Stay focused while you are learning and schedule time for your distractions.
Some other ways to reduce distractions may include using earplugs or listening to music to drown out noise. Soundscapes or classical music can even help improve retention of online learning while reducing distractions.
#4 Create a Schedule
It is important to create and stick to a schedule using a calendar of due dates. Instructors leave it up to online students to keep track of deadlines and submit assignments on time during an online degree program.
There are a few tools that an online student can used to create a calendar of tasks to stay ahead of the game. Google Calendar is a free app that you can use on your desktop or mobile device to keep track of assignments and upcoming lectures. Todoist is also a free tool for an online student to stay organized. Keep track of tasks, get notifications, and collaborate with other online students with Todoist.
#5 Improve Time Management
Time management is important for online students. Have some downtime during classes or waiting for a response from an online instructor? Don’t turn on the television or start playing Candy Crush on your phone, take the extra time to get ahead on reading. Stick to your schedule and block out time to read or review lectures.
It is good for an online student to communicate with classmates and instructors, so they are not isolated. Good communication is also a good way to avoid misunderstandings with instructors. Use email, text, Skype and other forms of communication to stay up-to-date with class assignments, lectures and tests. It is also good practice to proof read everything you send as much of your communication will be online, grammar and punctuation are important in a school environment.
#7 Confirm Technical Requirements
Does your computer have enough memory to stream lectures? Do you have all the software programs you need to do all of your assignments? Do you need to download any tools or apps to stay up with the workload? If you are taking a business class, you may need word processing or spreadsheet software. Some instructors may use specific tools or apps to disseminate information, hand-outs, and notes. Be sure you have the right equipment to make online learning simple.
#8 Use a Fast Connection
Nothing is worse than waiting for your computer to catch up during a video or lecture. Make sure you have a fast connection, as the computer is going to be your main source of connection to the online degree program. Also, turn off any other programs that may be slowing your computer down. The Firefox browser is notorious for slowing down a computer, try Google Chrome or Microsoft Explorer.
Even though you are working from home or away from a formal class structure, don’t forget to ask for help from your instructors. Taking classes online can feel isolating but many times your classmates and instructors are eager to help.
Are you looking for a college that will offer you a student-focused career degree program along with the convenience of online courses? Daymar College Online offers degree programs that are flexible and convenient. You can get started toward a career in fields such as business, health care and criminal justice that offer the same diplomas and Associate and Bachelor degrees earned on campus.