Are you self directed?
Success Depends on You
Success in an online class will depend in large measure on how self-disciplined you are and how well you achieve objectives that you set for yourself. If you like working independently and are good at meeting deadlines, then you will do well in an online class. On the other hand, if you depend on other people like a boss, teacher or parent to tell you what to do and when to do it, you will have problems in the more free-wheeling environment of an online class.
If you can determine the steps needed to achieve an objective by reading written instructions, successfully organize your time to complete those steps, and follow through by managing your efforts independently, then you are an ideal online student. You must also be comfortable asking for clarification if you do not understand something. If you are uncomfortable asking your teacher to explain something when you don’t get it then think twice before signing up for an online class.
What can go wrong in an online class?
Don’t fall behind. The biggest problem is falling behind. Some students, for personal or work reasons, neglect to schedule the amount of time it takes to complete their class work.
Stay in touch. Another problem is feeling lost and getting discouraged simply because of failure to ask questions or fully read written instructions. Most instructions you receive in an online class will be in writing.
Finish your work early. In an online class, it is best to finish your assignments early. If an instructor has scheduled a 3-day window in which you may take an online test or upload an assignment, complete the test or assignment on the first day, not at the last minute. Since most of the work in an online class is done entirely over the Internet, and the Internet sometimes fails (lots can go wrong), it is very important to understand your assignments, stay on schedule and finish work early.
Don’t hesitate to ask. If something does go wrong, let’s say you have attempted to take an online exam, but for some reason, no fault of your own, your computer simply froze up and failed to submit your results. You must not hesitate to contact your instructor to clarify the situation and reset the test. Don’t let little glitches become the source of discouragement.
Take responsibility for working on your own. If you have never taken an online class, you may not be used to working completely independently. You may be used to the sort of casual conversation in the classroom or an instructor’s body language to help you “get it.” You won’t have these in most online classes, so you need to rely more on your reading, writing, and questioning skills. If you learn best by interacting with instructors and classmates in person, then an online class will be more challenging for you. On the other hand, the freedom offered by online classes is very liberating. It does require, however, that you be responsible for managing your own time and efforts.
A good online student will take initiative in asking for help when assignments or information may not be totally clear.
Personal Habits Inventory
Do the following statements apply to you?
-I like working on my own.
-I take responsibility for my own learning.
-I am regarded by my family and friends as a “self-starter.”
-I feel I have pretty good organization skills.
-I can stay “on-task” without someone constantly reminding me.
-I am curious about many things.
-I can set and achieve goals independently.
-I have my own opinions, but am open to the opinions of others
-I enjoy being challenged, and am motivated by challenging situations.
-I like direct, personal feedback.
The more “Yes” replies you can make, the more likely it is you will succeed as an online student.