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Successful Online Learning

With all of the chaos of today busy schedules, subscribing to life-long learning is a real challenge. However, with the advent of online learning the challenge is not as great. No driving to campus, no parking, no cold nights out in the winter, no gas, no public transportation and set time to be there! Little wonder that online courses are growing exponentially.

A few tips are offered based on a survey of Cyber-Professors and of students who have succeeded with online learning.

CyberProfs were asked the question that follows.

How would you compare teaching and learning through online courses (the cyber classroom) with those that you teach in the traditional classroom?

A few responses follow.

  • "I did not teach this same course face-to-face because it's only offered online. I do teach other courses face-to-face, though, and I prefer the classroom. I like to see my students, and I like to assess their skills while I'm in the room rather than 10 hours after they have submitted an assignment. I also find that teaching online can cause me more work because I have to explain things (grammar, topic organization, lack of detail) by copying and pasting specific sentences and phrases to my responses and then commenting on them in several different ways to make sure the students understand my explanations. Working face-to-face is easier because I can point to a sentence and say, "that's a fragment, and here's how to fix it."
  • "I previously taught the same course face-to-face. I feel that the cyber classroom opens the door for more critical thinking exercises, since students are not only expected to read the material outside of class, they must. I also feel that in the cyber classroom you get to know individual students better."
  • "The con of the cyber classroom is that cheating is more difficult to monitor. Also, some student feedback indicates that they feel that the cyber classroom is more work because they must do so much more reading."


A Recapitulation of Professors' Advice

The listing that follows is offered as a quick reference of things to do that will help assure a successful journey with your online learning.

Remember, these are the Best Practices from the point-of-view of professors.

-Read everything- twice, or more, if needed

-Print out critical dates and scheduled activities

-Be well organized from the get go

-Ask questions if assignment material is unclear

-Don't slack off

-Keep actively involved in the class- get online frequently

-Allocate sufficient time for course work

-Don't ever miss deadlines

-Don't procrastinate

-Cite references

-Know the syllabus

Remember an online course is NOT easier than a traditional classroom course

Student Advice

Here is some straight-forward advice from students who have succeeded with many online courses. Some do's and don'ts follow.

Do's

Be certain to print out the syllabus and calendar
Be full of determination
Log on regularly
Keep track of all due dates and submit all assignments on time
Read all of the material and ask questions
Budget and manage your time
Use all resources suggested
Conduct research as required
Participate whenever you have a chance
Stay focused
Be aware of all requirements and fully comply
Double check everything before submitting documents
Do your online coursework before any other coursework

Don'ts

Don't take an online course unless you plan to be very well organized
Don't think that you will have extra time with an online course
Don't let the workload build up
Don't slack off with assignments
Don't be afraid to ask questions
Don't ever miss a discussion session
Don't wait until the last minute to ask your questions


This article excerpt was reprinted with permission from Online Learning, OLB Group.

Use this Direct link to get your hard copy of How to Succeed With Online Learning


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