How to Succeed in an Online College Course

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Many college students make the decision to take an online college course during some point in their studies. Unfortunately, online college courses may not be exactly what you are expecting. Although online courses do help ensure that you will have enough time for your schoolwork with your already hectic lifestyle, they are not as easy as you may think.

Things You'll Need

  • Self-discipline
  • Time
  • Commitment
  • Keep in touch with your professor throughout the entire duration of the online college course. Many professors provide you with several means of contact, such as telephone numbers and email addresses. If he does not provide you with this information, be sure to ask for it. If you ever have any questions about your course, do not be afraid to ask him.

  • Print out the syllabus for the course. Keep in mind that although the course syllabus can be viewed online, it is always better to have it in print form. Use it to mark off the assignments that you have completed or highlight the ones that will be due soon.

  • Set a strict schedule for completing your coursework. The most important key to succeeding in an online college course is to make sure that you actually complete the assignments on time. To keep up with the work, you need to be self-paced. The best way is to set aside a specific time of the day or week to complete your school assignments. Just think of it as attending class a certain time each week.

  • Be sure to use an agenda. Write down what assignments you have coming up to keep you on track. If you choose not to print out the course syllabus, this can be a great alternative. Even if you do print the syllabus out, using an agenda serves as a good reminder to complete your assignments on time.

  • Always post on the discussion board when you are required to. It counts as class participation and is often a significant part of your grade. Keep in mind that not only do you need to post, but you also need to do it on time. If you are required to post information on the discussion board by 9 p.m. on Friday, do not post it at 10 on Sunday. In a way, posting on the discussion board is a lot like attending class.

  • Read the course material that you are assigned. You will most likely be quizzed on the reading material or will be required to write a paper based on it. Keeping up with assigned reading is very important in any online course.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always try to work ahead whenever possible. Try to do assignments a week or more in advance.
  • Be sure to post quality information on the discussion board.
  • Do not think that an online course will be easy just because you are not required to physically go to class. Many students find online courses more challenging.

References

  • Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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