Strategies for Online Learning
In a traditional course, you would go to a classroom at a certain time. The professor would then teach for about an hour, while you take notes, and you then have time to digest the information before the next time your class meets. This process repeats with quizzes, exams, and maybe some labs along the way until your course is completed at the end of the semester.
Online education presents some significant changes to this model. There is no set meeting time, and there is no professor to give you information in manageable doses. You need to decide for yourself how to pace the course.
Here are some tips to get you started.
First, know your deadlines. If you need to have the course finished in 12 weeks, and there are 6 modules in the course, you know that about every two weeks you should be finishing a module. If you allow yourself to get behind, your ability to retain all of the information and therefore your grade will likely suffer.
As you take the course, read through the module material. The text is condensed, and there is a great deal of material on each page. Whenever you feel that you are reading without absorbing any more information, take a break. Consider that reading your lecture for the day and review that material before moving forward.
After each section you will find some practice questions. You should try to answer the questions without the help of the module or any notes. After the first attempt, if there are answers that you cannot provide, then consult the module text. After you are done with the questions, check the answers against those provided at the end of the module. If your answer does not match the answer at the end of the module, you need to find out what the differences are, and ask your instructor if you have any questions.
If you encounter topics within the course which require an instructor's help, either email your specific questions to your instructor using the My Messages tab or for questions requiring lengthy answers call the student help line. Use these tools to make sure that you have a good understanding of the module before attempting the exam.
Online courses come with more personal responsibility than traditional courses, and managing the pace of your course is a key component to your success.