More than a third of students took at least one course online in 2018, which is equivalent to 20+ million, as per the U.S. federal education data. Many students partake in an online course for the convenience and flexibility it offers, especially when other commitments such as their job, makes campus-based attendance quite difficult to maintain.
In 2020, courtesy of the worldwide viral pandemic, we can safely say that every other student has had a taste of online classes, from primary school to college level. However rife digital learning may have become, it doesn’t exactly make it viable as a face-to-face campus learning program.
Though a combination of digital learning technologies and face-to-face instructions have proven to help students quite a lot in their academics, complete dependency on an online platform is a different matter. Students, who have newly transitioned to the digital platform may find it daunting to wade through the online quagmire and soul search for the motivation and discipline, which is otherwise readily available under the stern eye of faculty staff in traditional classrooms.
Tips to Succeed in Your Online Degree Program
So here are a few strategies that will help develop a taste for online learning in you, so you can ace any online degree program you opt for:
- Look at the Big Picture
It’s not easy to direct all the focus on your online classes. You may be working side-by-side with your classes or not, there are usually things around that take us away from studies.
You may need to dig deep for motivation to bring yourself to attend online courses as diligently as you’d at a campus, starting with choosing a program you are passionate about. All your goals would be in tatters if you’d half-hearted interest in the courses.
Plus, whenever you digress from the chosen course, remind yourself why you chose this program in the first place. It’s easy to lose sight of goals when you are caught in the hullabaloo of daily life. But you chose this course because it’s going to make your life better and any more delays or digressions would consequently hinder that overarching goal of seeking a better life.
Posts reminders and motivational quotes in your study space. We assure you that a look into the bigger picture would provide ample encouragement in soldiering on.
- Your Online Classes are Real
“Out of sight, out of mind,” usually is the case with online classes. With the flexibility it offers, you procrastinate and don’t even feel like you are enrolled in an actual degree program until the assignment deadline or the final exam comes knocking at your door. The only way to tackle it is to create a mindset and solidify it that these are your real classes, and should be treated as such.
Behave as you would do in a traditional classroom; you have to attend the class at a specific time, you have to meet all the deadlines or else it wouldn’t do well for your image, etc.
- Manage Your Schedule
The toughest thing to get around doing is managing your time by creating a schedule and adhering to it. Once you do it, your online learning endeavors are going to be considerably easier as you get rid of stress accompanied with last-minute work or meeting several deadlines at once. Here are some tips that can help you create a foolproof schedule:
- Get your advisor’s assistance in creating a plan that works with your daily lifestyle.
- Note down your semester’s activities, including major written and reading assignments. Put them up on a calendar or chart, preferably at a place you study. This also allows you to plan your personal activities while still keeping up with your online coursework e.g. maybe you can complete that assignment long before the deadline so you can enjoy an extended holiday somewhere around that time.
- Break down your schedule on a weekly basis. Plan what you are going to achieve this week: the amount of time you will dedicate to a reading assignment, forum interaction, work on an essay, etc.
- Set timers, so you don’t spend unnecessary time (time spent procrastinating) on a particular task. Get yourself to complete that task within the timeline, so you can have a stress-free movie or game night.
- Explore different ways you can access online material i.e. laptop, or smartphone. This flexibility lets you catch up on your online work as you’re traveling across town or stuck somewhere far away from your comfortable study space.
- Dedicate a Study Space
As discussed before, study space is where you should be posting all those motivational quotes and elaborate schedules. Essentially, it should be a place that spurs you into action and get on with your online classes in peace, instead of a place tainted with distractions.
- So start with getting a comfortable chair and desk that allows you to hunch on your laptop and assignment for long periods of time.
- A house plant would add to the zen of the space.
- Keep water and snacks nearby so you won’t have to get up and go in search of these items as it usually ruins the study mode.
- Keep all the necessary equipment at hand including good-quality headphones, a notebook, syllabi, books, stationery, and of course, a laptop or PC.
- Never Compromise on Internet Connection
Ensure that your high-speed internet connection is unhindered. It’s something that most of us overlook, but once your internet speeds start running at the pace of a snail, all hell breaks loose and you miss out on committing to the coursework timeline.
So better align yourself with a reliable internet service provider such as Charter Spectrum™. It can at least immediately resolve your connectivity issue as soon as you contact them at the Spectrum Customer Service Phone Number in case one arises on a rare occasion. If Spectrum isn’t your provider, then it still isn’t too late, you can switch to them and even qualify for a contract buyout that pays for your termination fee with your current provider.
- Get the Most Out of Your Classroom Interactions
The biggest drawback to online classes is that there is not enough room for lively discussions and informal debates. Such type of participation raises morale and enthusiasm of students along with engagement. It doesn’t mean though that you cannot interact altogether, instead make the most out of the online discussion forums. Create a study group online where anyone can post questions or opinions about the lesson covered on that date or the assignment due. Make sure though that room doesn’t end up with too much redundant and foolish commentary — there can be a separate platform for that.
You can also check up on what other people are saying at the discussion board, give and seek feedback from classmates regarding papers. Just dedicate a specific time every day to classroom discussions. This will help you keep up even when you’ve missed out on a previous online class or are lagging in any way.
So Go Ahead and Ace it!
All these strategies require your mental effort and discipline to achieve the goal of succeeding in your online degree program. It may be a little difficult at first, but you would soon get the hang of it and it’ll come easy to you with some practice.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and the NFL network.