Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts in Online Education
When you’re enrolling into an online course and you’re doing your best to complete it, it’s important to do things right. You can spend a lot of time exploring different courses to figure out why they work or don’t work. If you really want to get to the bottom of this, you’ll take few courses and go through trial and error before completing your first one.
There’s a shortcut: you can go through the following tips, which are extracted from our experience and analysis of different online courses.
These are the top 10 do’s and don’ts in online education:
1. Communicate with the Other Learners:
Peer-reviewing is an effective strategy for making online courses interactive. In many courses, each learner has to review at least three assignments submitted by other learners. They offer suggestions for improvement and learn from each other’s work. Use this opportunity well. Provide honest, constructive feedback not only because it’s mandatory, but also because it helps the other learners. Discussion forums are also important. The learners ask questions, discuss different issues, and help each other to complete the course. When you engage in effective communication with the other students, you’ll have a more positive attitude towards the course. Knowing that you’re not alone on this journey will push you forward.
2. Pay Attention to the Text in PowerPoint Presentations:
Almost all online courses include presentations, since they are easy to follow and compress a lot of information in few slides. Still, PowerPoint presentations don’t trigger the online learner’s interest, since they are based on mere reading. Still, you’ll have to make that effort. In order to make the presentations more engaging, the educators include videos, images, quizzes, audio, and other elements. You should see them as a helpful addition, but you can’t allow them to take your attention away from the text.
3. Know Your Instructors
The most serious criticism towards online learning is related to the lack of bonding. The students don’t feel like they are dealing with real instructors. The lecturers try to fix that gap by introducing themselves, as well as the people who are moderating the forum discussions. Pay attention to that introduction. Do everything in your power to establish a good relationship with the instructor. Whenever you feel the need to send them a message, do it. If you’re dealing with an engaged course provider, you’ll get a response.
4. Don’t Discuss the Grades
As every other learner, you’re taking your grades seriously. If you think your grades are not fair, you can send a private message to the instructor. However, you mustn’t discuss the grades with a negative attitude on the discussion forum. It doesn’t matter whether you got good or bad results; just don’t discuss them.
5. Analyze the Feedback to the Assignments:
When online instructors evaluate their students, they provide private feedback to each learner. Some courses involve peer-reviewed assignments, and that feedback is just as important. Pay attention to the remarks and recommendations. Consider them when completing your upcoming assignments.
6. Get Help When You Need It:
When you have to keep pace with the assignments but you have other responsibilities to handle, it’s easy to lose track with the course. Sometimes you don’t know how to complete a particular project. Each provider has specific standards, which may be different from the expectations you were used to meeting. If you need help to get better at the completion of these assignments, consult a pro essay writing service for one of your future projects. That experience will help you understand how academic writing works.
7. Take Small Steps Keep this in mind: smaller chunks of information are easier to digest. It’s easier to make progress in small steps than to process a huge load of information on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. Make a schedule that guides you towards the completion of this course. You’ll be constantly getting new material to explore, so make sure to go through bits of it every single day. Plan how and when you’re complete the assignments. If you devote at least one hour per day to the course, you’ll get to the end of it without much stress involved.
8. If You Can’t Handle It, Catch Up!
Sometimes you have too many responsibilities. Sometimes an unexpected problem or health issue prevents you from focusing on the course. These things happen. The good thing is that when it comes to online education, you can always catch up. When you’re falling behind, most courses will allow you to change your assignment due dates and switch sessions.
9. Pay Attention to Hands-On Training:
Why are you taking this online course? It’s not only because you want to gain more knowledge on the topics of your interest. It’s also because you want to develop skills that will be useful in the real world. That’s exactly why online educators provide hands-on training through case studies and practical demonstrations. They test your skills and give you credit for the achievements. These elements of the course are crucial. Think how everything you learn relates to your life and profession. That’s how you’ll know if this course is worthy of your time.
10. Keep Track of the Deadlines:
People are interested in online learning because of the flexibility factor. They don’t want to get the same treatment like the one they would get from a traditional college professor. That’s why the deadlines for the assignments in online courses are often flexible. You’re allowed to submit them a bit later. However, that shouldn’t become a habit of yours. Use Google Calendar to keep track of the deadlines and set reminders.
It’s not easy to become a successful online student. There are lots of distractions, so you’ll have to stay strong and committed. Hopefully, the tips above will help you reach the goals you’re after.
About the Author: Tom Jager is professional blogger. He works at Awriter. He has degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+ or Facebook.