Online learning is different from studying in a classroom. Students interact with their instructors through emails and videoconferencing. Also, teachers provide students with lectures that they record on video. Students struggling to manage work and school consider virtual learning to be a beneficial and convenient solution. Although it might be considered an alternative to traditional education, it wasn’t always considered as an effective learning solution.
Gradually, the trend in education began to change and students and teachers alike began to shift their point of view regarding online education. However, one fact that was quickly established was that online education is not for everyone. If people do consider learning their lessons from an online instructor, then there are specific dos and don’ts of online education they must read before pursuing it.
Dos of Online Education
The dos of online education every student must know:
1. Research Properly
Prior to enrolling in any online course, you should do thorough research about it. Visit some online educational blogs and social media sites so you can ask people for their input on online education. In order to find a good online institution, you should do research on various schools offering online courses.
2. Build Motivation
It can become difficult for some students to engage in online studies. Online learning lacks the presence of teachers and other students as a result people become unmotivated to learn and complete the course. You have to make an effort to motivate yourself and complete the assigned work. In order to complete your course, you have to become a dedicated online learner.
If you fail to understand a topic or online lecture, then make an effort to maintain a steady amount of communication between the instructor and you. Some online instructors communicate with their students through discussion forums. Discussion forums enable a student to interact with other students taking the same course.
Therefore, make your presence in the virtual world known by actively participating in group discussions or discussions held by the instructor.
4. Read Resource Materials
Many instructors complain that students neglect to read the online syllabus, lecture notes, and assignment descriptions, which all contain instructions telling the student about the requirements of the assignment and course. Hence, you should carefully read all the given resource material before you begin an assignment.
5. Submit Assignments on Time
If you submit your assignments later, then you won’t get any constructive feedback from the instructor. Mutual collaboration is necessary for maintaining an efficient and effective online learning environment.
6. Ask Your Peers
When an online instructor is unable to remove your confusion about a concept, you can rely on your peers to help clarify the concept. In return, you can help them out. Your peers are people you meet through discussion forums studying the same online course as you.
7. Behave Appropriately
Even in the online world, you should not forget your manners. You may not know the people you are conversing with in discussion forums, but that doesn’t mean you have to be impolite. Furthermore, you should avoid using slang or inappropriate language when communicating with your online instructor.
If you follow all the dos of online education, you will succeed in completing the online course. However, you should also be aware of online education don’ts.
Don’ts of Online Education
The don’ts of online education a student must know:
1. Don’t let Terminology Intimidate You
Sometimes when you are learning in an environment with no direct contact with the instructor, you tend to get lost when reading textbooks or professor’s notes. That’s when the internet becomes useful. You can search online for something you failed to understand.
2. Don’t Think You Can Be Quiet
Some online learning programs offer a productive learning environment where forums and online groups create a good platform for discussion.
3. Don’t Be Shy to Ask for Assistance
If you are having problems with the educational technology or software the online school gave you, instead of sitting around, contact the school and ask for assistance. If you don’t understand the concept, then send an email to the teacher.
4. Don’t Postpone Assignments
Students shouldn’t come with a relaxed state of mind thinking it’s just an online course so how hard could it be. At times, students struggle to turn in assignments because they keep delaying it causing them to fail the online course. The comfort of your home should not deter you in completing the assignments on time, instead create deadlines, set goals, read the assignments, and work towards creating a home environment that will motivate you to learn and study.
Following are some things you can do to establish a good learning environment at home:
- Seclude yourself in a room where you don’t have access to a TV and leave your cell phone turned off in a separate room.
- Inform your friends and family not to bother you during your learning hour.
- Uninstall any games you have on your computer so you won’t be compelled to play them. You can store them away on a separate device.
- For this tip, you have to use your willpower and try not to wander off to another site.
- Remember to be comfortable in chair adjusted to the height of the computer screen and keyboard. Also, try keeping your forearms and thighs parallel to the floor and don’t bend your wrists while typing.
- In order to avoid straining your eyes, you should be in a room that gives off sufficient light and adjust the light of the computer screen to be as bright as the lighting in the room.
5. Don’t Get Unmotivated
If online learning doesn’t work for you, then remember that online learning is not for everyone. People either have problems balancing the workload or have other issues. Moreover, some students can’t focus on learning in solitude and need the presence of a teacher and other students.
6. Don’t Copy
Over the years, the number of plagiarized work turned in by students has increased. If caught turning in copied work, then the consequences can be grave.
If you really are interested in pursuing online education, then you should become a determined online learner, learn how to manage your time well, and always communicate with the teacher through the given communication tool provided by the school. These are all keys to having a successful online learning experience.