Taking college courses online is a very different experience than taking traditional in-class courses. You have to be very disciplined while you take an online class. Communicating with professors may be more difficult than if you took the class at school and you may even find that they are more difficult. It is very important to stay on track and keep up with your work.
After taking multiple classes on-line, the best piece of advice I have to offer is to print out your syllabus! This will be very helpful. Even though they will be posted on-line, it is better to print it out and be able to hold it in front of you. This way you are always aware or what is coming up in the future weeks of class. Since you will not be meeting weekly at school, you may not be reminded of upcoming assignments. It is also very important to look ahead and read directions for , if you have a question or need help, let your professor know immediately. Sometimes it can take a few days for professors to respond back to you, which is why you need to let them know your question right away. It will be easier to plan out your studying and set aside time for assignments once you read over your syllabus also.
Since you do not have the experience of being in class for a few hours, it is very important to set aside the time that you would have spent in class while you are at home. You can read over notes or your book, or finish assignments during this time. It is imperative that you set aside time in your schedule for your on-line class, otherwise it is very easy to fall behind. Since you will be in charge of reading all necessary information for tests and assignments, you need to have good reading habits. Try not to be around any distractions. Highlighting important information is very helpful, taking notes while you read is also helpful to look over later when you are studying.
Be sure to always check your e-mail. Your professor may send you changes in assignments or special notes, since he cannot hand them out to you, his only way to contact you is through e-mail. Check your school e-mail at least once a day in case there are any critical changes.
You may realize that you are doing more work in your on-line class than in your other classes. If you do not like working independently, you probably will not enjoy taking courses on-line. You cannot procrastinate in your on-line class. It is very easy to take the day off and say you will read tomorrow. However, try not to do this at all. Your reading will pile on and will just make it harder in the long run. Make sure that you are ready to be dedicated to working independently in your class before you register for on-line courses. Following these tips will help you succeed in your class.