Anyone interested in syncing study schedule?
Online courses have grown tremendously in recent years.
While online learning once focused on students at a distance from campus, now many students enrolled in regular classes also take some courses online. Some online courses do involve live audio connections via Webcasts, but many are self-paced and asynchronous, meaning that you experience the course on your own time and communicate with others via messages back and forth rather than in real time.
You must take the first step to communicate your questions. Your instructor can’t see you to know if you’re confused or feeling frustrated understanding a lecture.
When you ask a question or seek help with an assignment, you have to wait for a reply from your instructor. You may need to continue with a reading or writing assignment before you receive a reply.
If the instructor is online at scheduled times for direct contact, take advantage of those times for immediate feedback and answers.
Many students enjoy online courses, in part for the practical benefit of scheduling your own time.
All online courses include opportunities for interacting with the instructor, typically through e-mail or a bulletin board where you may see comments and questions from other students as well.
Some students who are reluctant to speak in class communicate more easily in writing.
Many educators argue that online courses can involve more interaction between students and the instructor than in a large lecture class, not less. But two important differences affect how that interaction occurs and how successful it is for engaging students in learning.
Most communication is written, with no or limited opportunity to ask questions face to face or during office hours, and students must take the initiative to interact beyond the requirements of online assignments.
Depending on your learning style, an online course may feel natural to you (if you learn well independently and through language skills) or more difficult (if you are a more visual or kinesthetic learner). Online courses however, have higher drop-out and failure rates due to some students feeling isolated and unmotivated.
Success in an online course requires commitment and motivation. Follow these guidelines:
Make sure you have the technology. If you’re not comfortable reading and writing on a computer, don’t rush into an online course.
If you have limited access to a computer or high-speed Internet connection, or have to arrange your schedule to use a computer elsewhere, you may have difficulty.
Accept that you’ll have to motivate yourself and take responsibility for your learning.
It’s actually harder for some people to sit down at the computer on their own than to show up at a set time.
Be sure you have enough time in your week for all course activities and try to schedule regular times online and for assignments. Evaluate the course requirements carefully before signing up.
You need to actively engage with the course material.
Most online courses involve assignments requiring problem solving and critical thinking.
It’s not as simple as watching video lectures and taking multiple-choice tests.
Use any opportunity to interact with other students in the course. If you can interact with other students online, do it.
Ask questions of other students and monitor their communications. If you know another person taking the same course, try to synchronize your schedules so that you can study together and talk over assignments.
Students who feel they are part of a learning community do better than those who feel isolated.
Considerations for Online Courses
You need to own or have frequent access to a recent model of computer with a high-speed Internet connection.
Without the set hours of a class, you need to be self-motivating to schedule your time to participate regularly.
Without an instructor or other students in the room, you need to be able to pay attention effectively to the computer screen.
Learning on a computer is not as simple as passively watching television! Take notes.
Without reminders in class and peer pressure from other students, you’ll need to take responsibility to complete all assignments and papers on time.
Since your instructor will evaluate you primarily through your writing, you need good writing skills for an online course. If you believe you need to improve your writing skills, put off taking an online course until you feel better prepared. You must take the initiative to ask questions if you don’t understand something.
You may need to be creative to find other ways to interact with other students in the course. You could form a study group and get together regularly in person with other students in the same course.
Just as e-mail has become a primary form of communication in business and society, e-mail has a growing role in education and has become an important and valuable means of communication. E-mail can be an effective form of communication and interaction with instructors and is also an increasingly effective way to collaborate with other students on group projects or while studying with other students.
Using e-mail respects other people’s time, allowing them to answer at a time of their choosing.
Because e-mail is a written communication, it does not express emotion the way a voice message does. Don’t attempt to be funny, ironic, or sarcastic. Write as you would in a paper for class.
In a large lecture class or an online course, your e-mail voice may be the primary way your instructor knows you, and emotionally charged messages can be confusing or give a poor impression.
Avoid abbreviations, nonstandard spelling, slang, and emoticons like smiley faces. These do not convey a professional tone.
When communicating with your instructor address e-mail messages as you do a letter, beginning “Dear Professor ____.”
Include your full name if it’s not easily recognizable in your e-mail account.
Get to your point quickly and concisely. Don’t make the reader scroll down a long e-mail to see what it is you want to say.
Use a professional e-mail name. If you have a funny name you use with friends, create a different account with a professional name you use with instructors, work supervisors, and others.
Use the subject line to label your message effectively at a glance. “May I make an appointment?” says something; “In your office?” doesn’t.
Be polite. End the message with a “Thank you” or something similar.
Proofread your message before sending it. With any important message to a work supervisor or instructor, it’s a good idea to wait and review the message later before sending it.
You may have expressed an emotion or thought that you will think better about later. Many problems have resulted when people sent messages too quickly without thinking.
Getting Started with E-mail
If you don’t have your own computer, find out where on-campus computers are available for student use, such as at the library or student center.
You can set up a free Web-based e-mail account at Google, Yahoo! or other sites. These allow you to send and receive e-mail from any computer that is connected to the Internet.
If you don’t have enough computer experience to know how to do this, ask a friend for help getting started or check at your library for a publication explaining how e-mail works.
Once you have your account set up, give your e-mail address to instructors who request it and to other students with whom you study or maintain contact. E-mail is a good way to contact another student if you miss a class.
Once you begin using e-mail, remember to check it regularly for messages. Most people view e-mail like a telephone message and expect you to respond fairly soon.
Online networking can help enrich one’s life. When used to build relationships, gain information, and stay in touch with a larger community, it can contribute to success. Current studies reveal that over 90 percent of all students use Facebook or other social networking sites regularly, although older students use these sites less commonly.
Many of those who once criticized Facebook and MySpace are now regularly networking among themselves via LinkedIn, Plaxo, and other “professional” networking sites.
Many administrators and instructors use social network platforms to stay in touch with students, to provide information and encouragement, and to help students experience the full richness of the student experience.
Your college or online course provider may have a Facebook page where you can learn about important announcements and other relevant information.
Social network provides users with increased “social capital,” which is a sum of resources gained through one’s relationships with people.
Facebook users gain information, opportunities for participation in activities and groups, greater knowledge about others, some interaction skills, and so forth. Social capital is also associated with self-esteem, success in endeavors, and general happiness.
Facebook and other forms of online networking makes it easy to stay in touch with colleagues, friends and family at a geographical distance.
Students who have moved away from former friends seem to make the transition more easily when they stay in touch.
Maintaining past relationships does not prevent most people from making new friends.
Social networks makes it easier for people who are shy or otherwise slow to initiate or respond to interactions with others to participate socially in a group.
Online network sites also offer an outlet for self-expression and sharing. For many students, interactions on social networks strengthen personal relationships rather than detracting from them.
The most important place to start is to consider why you’re here, what matters to you, and what you expect to get out it. Even if you have already thought about these questions, it’s good to reaffirm your commitment to your plan as we begin to consider what’s really involved in being a student. Every student also brings certain advantages from their background experience, as well as face certain kinds of difficulties. Understanding how your own background may impact your own preparedness can help you make a good start in your student experience.
Coming directly or almost directly from schools, “traditional” students are used to attending classes, reading textbooks, and studying and thus may find the transition easier.
Many are single and unattached and have few time commitments to others. In all, many have few responsibilities other than their academic work.
Students returning to their education are often older, may have worked for a number of years, and may be used to living on their own and being financially and psychologically independent.
They are often more mature and have a stronger sense of what they want; they may be more goal driven.
Because they have made a very deliberate decision to go to college, returning students are often serious students and are motivated to do the work.
Many colleges have a significant percentage of students who have recently immigrated or who are attending college there. What both groups may have in common is coming from a different culture and possibly speaking English as a second language.
They may have to make cultural adjustments and accommodations. Language issues are often the most serious obstacle to overcome, especially since so much of college education is based on reading and writing in English.
The key issue for working students often is time-how to find enough time for studying enough to do well in classes.
Since it is very difficult to maintain two full-time schedules-work and school-one or the other may suffer.
Students working and attending classes part time or online may have difficulty setting boundaries and managing their free time.
While it’s important to consider your strengths, it’s also important to develop a plan for moving forward and ensuring you have the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. Regardless of individual differences, all successful students share a number of traits, including a good attitude, effective time management strategies, good studying and test-taking skills, and more.
The following are characteristics of a successful student: Success skills, Self management control, Study benefits.
Successful Student Skills
Successful students have a good attitude and know how to stay motivated.
Successful students have developed good time management strategies, such as scheduling study time.
Successful students have effective strategies for taking good notes in class and using them.
Successful students have developed their critical thinking skills and apply them in their studies.
Successful students have learned to write well.
To succeed in your studies, you need to take control of your life. Gone are the days when you could just let others motivate you or establish schedules to manage your time. Here are a few thoughts to get you started in the right direction:
Accept responsibility for your life. You are on equal footing with everyone else and have the same opportunities.
Realize you can change. You can change your habits to become a better student.
Benefits of Studying
Studying results in many benefits, and these should also be part of your motivation for doing well.
You will gain decision-making and problem-solving skills.
You will gain self-confidence.
You will gain learning skills.
You will be better equipped to deal with other people, organizations and agencies.
You will make wiser decisions about lifestyle issues.
Students often feel even more stress than most people, it’s important to understand it and learn to deal with it so that it doesn’t disrupt your life.
Stress is a natural response to a demand or challenge. The thing that causes stress, called a stressor, captures our attention and causes a physical and emotional reaction. Most of our stressors are not physical threats but situations or events like an upcoming test or an emotional break-up. Stressors also include long-lasting emotional and mental concerns such as worries about money or finding a job.
Large life events cause a lot of stress that may begin suddenly and disrupt one’s life in many ways. Fortunately, these stressors do not occur every day and eventually end-though they can be very severe and disruptive when experienced.
Some major life stresses, such as having a parent or family member with a serious illness, can last a long time and may require professional help to cope with them.
Everyday kinds of stressors are common but can add up and produce as much stress as a major life event:
Anxiety about not having enough time for classes, job, studies, and social life.
Worries about grades or assignments.
Conflict with a someone at work, a friend or family member.
Anxiety or doubts about one’s future.
There is no magic number of stressors that an “average” or “normal” student experiences-because everyone is unique.
In addition, stressors come and go: the stress caused by a midterm exam tomorrow morning may be gone by noon, replaced by feeling good about how you did.
Still, most students are likely to be affected by some form of stress at some stage.
Much of the stress you feel may be rooted in your attitudes toward studying, your work or your whole life. If you don’t feel good about these things, how do you change?
To begin with, you really need to think about yourself. What makes you happy? Are you expecting your studies to be perfect and always exciting?
Maybe you just need to take a fun course to balance that “serious” course that you’re not enjoying. look at your life, be honest with yourself about what affects your daily attitude.
Tips for Success: Stress
Pay attention to, rather than ignore, things that cause you stress and change what you can.
Accept what you can’t change and resolve to make new habits that will help you cope.
Get regular exercise and enough sleep.
Evaluate your priorities, work on managing your time, and schedule restful activities in your daily life. Students who feel in control of their lives report feeling much less stress than those who feel that circumstances control them.
Slow down and focus on one thing at a time—don’t check for e-mail or text messages every few minutes! Know when to say no to distractions. Slow down and focus on one thing at a time—don’t check for e-mail or text messages every few minutes! Know when to say no to distractions.
Break old habits involving caffeine, alcohol, and other substances.
Remember your long-range goals and don’t obsess over short-term difficulties.
Make time to enjoy being with friends.
Explore new activities and hobbies that you enjoy.
Find a relaxation technique that works for you and practice regularly.
Get help if you’re having a hard time coping with emotional stress.
Online courses offer another options in many colleges but require a certain preparedness and a heightened sense of responsibility.
Online networking can help enrich one’s life, when used to build relationships, gain information, and stay in touch.
If you learn well independently and through language skills an online course may feel natural to you.
E-mail has a growing role in education and has become an important and valuable means of communication.
College students vary widely in terms of age, work experience before college, cultural background, family, and other factors that may affect how they learn. Traditional, young students just out of high school face a transition involving new freedoms and new situations they may need to master in order to succeed academically.
Returning students who work and may also have family responsibilities often have time issues and may feel out of place in the college environment.
Regardless of individual differences, all successful students share a number of traits, including a good attitude, effective time management strategies, good studying and test-taking skills, and more.
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