Online College: Valuable Tips

  • Become Acquainted with the School’s Learning Platform
  • Look Over Each Class Syllabus
  • Get to Know the Instructors
  • Take Advantage of Online Learning Tools
  • Create an Assignment Planner

There are many great ways to enrich your college experience if you are feeling overwhelmed. From getting acquainted with the learning platform and each course syllabus to taking advantage of online learning tools and creating an assignment planner, students will find that online learning can be enjoyable and fun. Read on, to find out about how these useful tips can help online students succeed.

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1. Become Acquainted with the School’s Learning Platform

One of the best ways to enrich your online college experience is to become acquainted with the school’s online learning platform. Before classes begin, it is a good idea to find out what learning platform the school uses for online instruction. While Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle are among the most commonly used online learning platforms, there are some lesser-known platforms often used as well. After finding out which platform is used by the school, spend some time on the site to see what it offers. In many cases, the platform will offer a training course to familiarize you with the site.

2. Look Over Each Class Syllabus

Another great way to enhance the online college experience is to look over each class syllabus as soon as possible. Occasionally, instructors will send welcome emails to students prior to the first day of class. Inside these emails, students can often find a link to the class syllabus. For courses in which instructors do not sent welcome emails, students will be able to access the class syllabus on the first day of class. Look over each class syllabus and take note of such things as technology requirements for the course, grading procedures, required course materials, and the class curriculum.

3. Get to Know the Instructors

Getting to know the instructors of one’s courses is yet another terrific way to enhance the online learning experience. While online programs are designed for independent learners, there may be times when students will need help. It is always a smart idea to take note of instructors’ email addresses, phone numbers, and office hours in case online learners need help. When contacting an online instructor, students should keep in mind that online courses are often quite large. In fact, according to an article posted on Forbes, about 25 percent of higher education students are enrolled in one or more online courses. Thus, it is best to exhaust all other avenues of assistance before contacting online instructors.

4. Take Advantage of Learning Tools

Most online learning platforms and courses offer a variety of useful learning tools to help enrich the online college experience. Links to these tools can typically be found within the site of the school’s learning platform. While exploring the platform and active courses, take note of such learning tools as writing and mathematics academies, online tutoring services, virtual meeting rooms to “meet” with instructors or assistants, online study groups, and outside distance learning sites such as Cengage, Udemy, Teachable, or Skillshare.

5. Create an Assignment Planner

Creating an assignment planner for each semester can significantly enhance the online college experience as well. When looking over the class syllabus for each active course, take note of the assignments that are due for each module. Using a small notebook, planner, or calendar, dedicate two or three pages to each course and jot down the assignments for each course in the order that they are due. Place a star next to major assignments, quizzes, and exams. As assignments are completed, be sure to cross them off the lists.

Completing college courses online may seem a bit overwhelming at first. But there are many things that students can do to enrich their online college experience, and the valuable tips described above are among the best.