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10 Things To Do Before The New Online School Year Begins
Many of you are of the opinion that an online school is easy. Surely, it makes things easier for you. However, you are expected to be self-disciplined yourself. You need to develop certain internal qualities so that you can excel in an online school course. So, you might need to work on yourself a bit before enrolling in an online school.
You also need to be familiar with the course formats. You also need to be ready for self-directed learning. You need to have a computer that meets certain technological standards.
Here are the top 10 things to do before the new online school year begins:
Get familiar with the online course delivery
Most of the students who take online courses for the first time are often encouraged by the school to complete an orientation to online learning. They are made to learn to navigate through the Web-based education platform that is used for online learning. This is usually offered via software such as Blackboard.
You are required to log on to this online portal to access video or audio lectures, reading materials, and communication forums. Being an online student, you should be prepared to do a lot of writing. This is because posting documents and messages online usually replaces the verbal chat that would regularly occur in the classroom.
You might interact with peers and their professors through e-mail, discussion boards and sometimes instant messaging. In order to make up for social engagement, many online programs assign group projects that require frequent communication between peers.
Get familiar with self-disciplined learning style
Keep in mind that online classes require a self-motivated learning style than traditional classes. Students are expected to set aside a certain amount of time to log into their classes and do their work on a daily basis. They might have to participate in various fun-filled co-curricular activities apart from submitting assignment before deadlines. Most of the full degree programs recommend factoring in about 20 hours per week to dedicate to online classes. However, time management isnâ€™t supervised.
It is very well understood that students need to be proactive about understanding class schedules and how to submit their work. Those who enroll in a completely virtual program may encounter a variety of pacing requirements dependent on each instructor. They need to be able to manage multiple schedules at the same time.
Get familiar with the program, enrollment and scheduling info
Certain courses are available as part of a hybrid program. Thus, these are partially hosted on campus or as part of a wholly online degree program. Whatever the case may be, individuals need to be accepted to the schoolâ€™s normal admission process at the undergraduate or graduate level. The curricula may follow on-campus semester schedules. It might also run alongside a concurrent live class.
Certain individual noncredit courses are often open enrollment. Usually, students need to complete these courses for professional development or personal enrichment purposes. The noncredit courses may have unfixed schedules that are totally up to studentsâ€™ discretion to finish off.
Get aware of the technological requirements
If you are considering an online class, it should have a basic understanding of computer applications. They are required to meet certain hardware and software requirements. This list might include:
- A personal computer with an updated operating system
- A browser with access to the Internet
- A specific amount of RAM or memory to support learning materials
- A headset with a microphone
- A video conferencing service application like Skype
Also, students are responsible for downloading materials and installing or updating basic software programs. However, this might vary based on a studentâ€™s field of study. When you know what to expect from your first online course, you can have a well-equipped computer. Also, you are better prepared to motivate yourself to fulfill course requirements. Thus, you will be ready for virtual learning success.
Ensure you have everything you need to start your online course
You should locate the computer requirements document on the school Web site. Ensure that your computer fits the requirements and you have the right peripherals. These include a printer, speakers, microphone, etc. The software includes Adobe Acrobat to read.PDF files, Microsoft Word for writing papers, etc. When you have those things in place, you need to make sure that these are functional. Many schools provide the software as downloads from their technical support page. So, you need to check that out before you buy the software.
Create a specific place for studying
You must set aside a certain place in your home to keep your school stuff. You must maintain an organization and system here. You can arrange your weighty notes in legit folders. This way you are less likely to lose those. You can put your books, some blank paper, a pen, and a highlighter all in one place.
Get tips from seniors
It is a smart decision to consult some reliable seniors before jumping into an online course. No one can guide you in a better way when it comes to following the right practices to get online success.
Learn time-management skills
Try to be good managers of time. This is the first criteria for online success. With the proper time-management skills, you can learn more, putting lesser efforts. It certainly comes with practice. However, you can start to get into the flow.
Identify your learning style
You need to know who you are. You need to analyze your learning capacity and speed. You need to know what type of learner are you, whether kinesthetic, visual or auditory. Only then can you select the right online course for yourself.
Create a learning schedule
Without a smart online learning schedule, you are no good than a headless chicken. You need to design a schedule that is humanly attainable yet productive. It should be breathable as well so that you can make changes if required.
Get to know about online learning before taking a plunge into this alternate learning mode.