Monday, January 13, 2014

Online Classes: Yay or Nay?

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Sweater: LOFT//Skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing//Shirt: H&M//Shoes: Target

As school is starting this week and it's consuming most of my time again, I thought I would share some tips and things that I've learned along the way about taking online classes. I know not everyone is in school who reads this blog but for those who are or are thinking about online classes maybe this will be helpful!

1. Write out a schedule. This is the most important piece of advice in my opinion. My first semester of class I struggled the entire first half at keeping up with readings, discussion posts, projects, dates, everything. Taking class online means that you are on your own. You don't go to class and have your teacher remind you in person when things are due. I personally do two things: 1. I write every important due date for the entire semester, papers and tests, on my calendar as a physical reminder that I can flip through quickly. 2. Every single week I write down absolutely everything I have to read, watch, and write for each class and the due date for each in list form so that I can cross them off one by one so I know for sure that I haven't missed anything that week.

2. Create class time for yourself. If you were going to a face to face class, you would have a set time for class every week and you would go. The same should apply to your online class. I think a lot of people mistake classes being online as being "easier" than face to face because no one is holding you physically accountable, but in all honesty, I have had much more classwork and had to focus much more on my online classes than I ever did in face to face ones. I only work part time, so I set time on a couple of my days off in the mornings from 9 to 3 for schoolwork. During these times I am focused solely on schoolwork, and after 3 I am done for the day (the exception being if I have a project due or something like that). I think that by setting a time for myself, especially an ending time, I stay more focused and get more done than if I just did schoolwork here and there.

3. Participate in group discussions. Most classes have group discussion areas, some are graded, some are not. I will confess that this is my least favorite thing to do, but I will say it is helpful. You get to know your classmates a lot better, you feel more engaged, and you even make class friends. Going to class online can be lonely and you start to miss the bustle of a noisy classroom, but by participating in discussion you start to recognize names (and faces if your class shares pictures and student bios) and you learn people's discussion styles just the same as you would in a face to face class.

4. Log in everyday (or at least every other!). Your class space and school email is the only way your professor can get in contact with you. If there is a due date change, something is taken off of the syllabus, or anything class related, your professor will announce it in one or both of those places. It's important to make sure you aren't missing anything. In relation to group discussions, your professor may require you to post several times throughout the week anyway, so it should be easy to log on. Also, you don't want to forget about your class by letting it get lost in the world wide web.

5. Turn things in early!! I can't stress this enough! Your class is online, and the servers can go down at any point. You don't want to be turning in your final paper at the very last minute and as you get ready to click "submit" the website goes down. I don't want to scare anyone, this hasn't happened to me, but it's something I worry about all the time.

Hopefully this was helpful for someone or at least didn't bore my not in school readers!
Have a lovely day!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, that skirt is gorgeous! and your advice is really good :) love it


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