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10 Ways to be a Successful Online Student

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Successful online students have a few things in common. If you want to ace your assignments, thrive in classroom discussions, and overcome the challenges of virtual learning, give these ten tips a try.

1. Start the semester right.

Teenage Boy Studying At Desk In Bedroom Us...
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The first week of an online class can set the course for the rest of the semester. Use your first few days wisely by evaluating your course load, making a schedule for yourself, and becoming familiar with course expectations.

2. Embrace the syllabus.

The syllabus is your guide to everything about an online class – what assignments are due, how you’ll be graded, and how you can contact the professor. Don’t just file this paperwork away. Review it early and refer to it often.

3. Become a master of multimedia.

The new generation of online classes includes interactive features such as forums, video conferencing, message boards, and podcasts. Become familiar with using multimedia technology so that you can thrive in any virtual situation.

4. Create a safe place for your studies.

Since all of your work will be done away from a traditional classroom, it’s essential to create a study spot of your own. Whether you have an entire office or just a desk in your living room, make sure it’s organized with the supplies you need and available for use at any time.

5. Achieve family / school balance.

When learning at home, it’s often difficult to balance assignments with the needs of your partner or children. Anticipate scheduling problems before they arise, and come up with a solution that works for everyone.

6. Play off your strengths.

Flashcards and note reviews can be uninspiring. Instead of relying on old-fashioned study techniques, find out what your “intelligence type” is and use it to excel. Personalizing your study time should make it more enjoyable and more productive.

7. Become a respected chat room participant.

Online class chat rooms can be the best place to make connections, share your insights, and stand out in the crowd. But, the seeming informality of the virtual world leads some students to share inappropriate information or be lax with their grammar. Learn how to communicate in chat rooms and take these venues seriously. In return, you’ll gain the respect of your professors and the admiration of your peers.

8. Harness the power of Google.

Google’s tools can be an amazing resource for your studies. Improve your research skills by mastering Google Search, Google Scholar, Google Books, and other popular resources.

9. Know how to ask for help.

Although you won’t be working with your professor face-to-face, it’s still important to build a relationship and ask for help when necessary. Learn how to communicate effectively with your instructors and avoid the misunderstandings that often arise with electronic discussion.

10. Stay motivated.

Online learning is an endurance sport. When you’re feeling burned out and tired of staring a screen, don’t slack. Remember that everyone has good days and bad. The key to online class success: never give up.
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