We understand that as a student enrolled in online courses, one of the benefits you are seeking is the flexibility to manage your coursework, in addition to all of the other responsibilities you have on your plate. However, this does not mean your coursework should take a back seat. Here are some tips to help you stay ahead.
With the freedom and flexibility of the online environment comes responsibility. The online learning process takes real commitment and discipline; every week counts in an accelerated term. If you have obligations that will make it difficult to log in for more than a few days, you should notify your professor as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing difficulty on any level (either with the technology or with the course content), you must explicitly communicate with your professor your struggles in a timely manner; otherwise, no one will know you are struggling or have an opportunity to help resolve the situation.
You must have the access to the necessary equipment. If you are relying on only one computer or internet connection, have a back-up plan for how you would access your online courses should that computer or connection be down for any length of time. You will still need to login and participate in your course, even if your computer is broken or internet has been disconnected.
Try to log into your course each day, if possible. To commit to your courses, set a schedule for yourself and stick to it! Also, let others know when you plan to be online each day to help minimize distractions.
Active participation in the learning process is essential to your understanding of the subject matter. The structure of an online courses means much of this will be done through reading and writing, but it also provides you the opportunity to carefully think through your responses before sharing them with others. Courses at Webster University have been designed to challenge your thought process and prepare you to confidently discuss your perspectives. Communicating your ideas effectively and sharing your perspective will help you and your classmates learn from one another.
Warn instructors ahead of time if you have a legitimate reason to be out of contact for more than a day or two. Students with extenuating circumstances, such as illness, should be proactive to inform the instructor, provide documentation, and seek accommodations for any period of absence.
Read the syllabus thoroughly to familiarize yourself with the instructor’s expectations. Note due dates in a calendar so that you can plan ahead. Waiting until the last minute is not a good strategy, since network, power, or system outages could hamper your ability to meet a deadline.