The great thing about online courses is that it gives students the ability to take their classes anywhere at anytime. However, this can also be the downfall to many online students, its can be tricky to stay on top of classes.
Being able to stay on track with an online course requires organization, discipline and commitment. These are characteristics that any successful student should acquire no matter the route they’re taking to achieve their degree.
“Being a good student, whether you’re online or in person, are pretty much similar things,” says Tamara Popovich, associate director of student services for ASU Online, the distance-learning arm of Arizona State University.
Unlike their peers in the classroom, online students have no in person reminder of when things are due or upcoming exams are scheduled.
“The big myth is it’s easier to go online, because you can do it at your own pace,” Popovich says. “You do have more flexibility, but it’s not any easier … It’s harder, because you’re on your own; you’re left to your own devices.”
The need for flexibility is a huge factor that is operating the growth in online education. Online enrollment hit an all time high in 2010 with more than 6.1 million students but a lack of direct supervision can make it easy for students to fall behind.
The 4 time management tips from online learning veterans can help busy online students stay ahead of the game.
- Make a Plan: Online students need structure, and a study calendar is a great way to create it, says Christina Robinson Grochett, University of Phoenix‘s territory vice president for the Gulf Coast. Check your syllabus before your course kicks off; write down all of the due dates on your calendar. After you have done this set aside study times for each class and treat them as if they were in class times.
- Check in Daily: One draw of online classes is that students need internet access to connect to their courses. Turning school into a daily activity makes it less overwhelming, and it prevents students from getting caught off guard by syllabus changes, says ASU Online’s Popovich.
- Look Ahead: Knowing what is due in six weeks, not just the next day, can help students maximize their time.
- Speak Up: If you struggle or fall behind don’t stay silent. Students are always hesitant to ask for help,” says Popovich, with ASU Online. “They start to drown and they take drastic measures, or they don’t take measures at all. Either way, they end up making a mistake.
With these tips you can overcome any online course you choose to take!