Successful online students have a few things in common. If you want to ace your assignments, thrive in classroom discussions, and overcome the challenges of virtual learning, give these ten tips a try.
The first week of an online class can set the course for the rest of the semester. Use your first few days wisely by evaluating your course load, making a schedule for yourself, and becoming familiar with course expectations.
Do the following before class starts:
Get your computer ready: Check your computer’s browser for compatibility.
Buy your textbooks/course materials ahead of time. You may order your textbooks at the GPC Online Bookstore.
- If you are applying for admissions, please click here to find resources that will help you prepare for the COMPASS Test.
The syllabus is your guide to everything about an online class – what assignments are due, how you’ll be graded, and how you can contact the professor. Print a copy, but don’t just file it away. Check it early and often! Go to iCollege to log into your online courses and check your syllabus for each course.
The new generation of online classes includes interactive features such as forums, video conferencing, message boards, and podcasts. Become familiar with using multimedia technology so that you can thrive in any virtual situation.
OSSC 1001, a free resource for online students, is great way to become familiar with using multimedia technology and the course tools you will see in iCollege.
- Improve your search skills by mastering Google Search, Google Scholar, Google Books, and other popular resources.
Whether you have an entire office or just a desk in your living room, make sure it’s organized with the supplies you need and available for use at any time.
When learning at home, it’s often difficult to balance the load. Anticipate scheduling problems before they arise, and come up with a solution that works for everyone. If you’re going on vacation or have a meeting out of town, work ahead. Learn more about time management in OSSC 1001 or by attending a student success webinar.
Flashcards and note reviews can be uninspiring. Instead of relying on old-fashioned study techniques, find out what your “intelligence type” is and use it to excel. Personalizing your study time should make it more enjoyable and more productive. Find out what your learning style is in the Student Success Backpack or by attending a student success webinar.
Participate! Engage in the learning process. Online class chat rooms can be the best place to make connections, share your insights, and stand out in the crowd. But, the seeming informality of the virtual world leads some students to share inappropriate information or be lax with their grammar. Learn how to communicate in chat rooms and take these venues seriously. Check out netiquette and online writing tips in the Student Success Backpack or by attending a student success webinar.
8. Stay on Schedule.
You cannot afford to get behind in an online class. Keep up with assignments. Know the deadlines and meet them! Record all of your readings, assignments, projects, etc. on your calendar right away.
Although you won’t be working with your professor face-to-face, it’s still important to build a relationship and ask for help when necessary. Learn how to communicate effectively with your instructors and avoid the misunderstandings that often arise with electronic discussion.
For additional help, online tutoring services are provided by SmarThinking..
Feel free to visit a Learning and Tutoring Center at the GPC Campus nearest you.
- Contact your Online Student Success Team at gpcol at gpc.edu (gpcol) or call them at 404-631-6585 for questions.
10. Stay motivated.
Online learning is an endurance sport. When you’re feeling burned out and tired of staring at a screen, don’t slack. Remember that everyone has good days and bad. Set a goal for everyday. Acquire a new skill. Complete a task. The key to online class success is to never give up.
- Attend a student success webinar.
Become a student leader.
Join a student club or organization.
Attend a career webinar.