Advice for Succeeding in Online School
Online education and traditional education are far from identical. Even students who were star students in their classroom settings find it harder to succeed in the online format, so students need to create a plan that works for them when taking on the challenge of being an online student.
Success in online education starts before one even starts college. It is imperative that students be as prepared as possible for the work that they will be asked to perform in a very new and innovative format. By having as much information as they can about their chosen program, students will be much more likely to succeed, and not get discouraged as easily.
Finding information about an online school starts, in most cases, with the website for a particular school. Students can find out what courses they will be expected to take and possibly what resources are available to them. Since online students will use school websites often, they should make sure that they will be comfortable with the format. If possible, students should ask to see a class's or a professor's website to see how assignments are given, how they are submitted, how forums and lectures are viewed, and how grades are given. Counselors can also help students who are considering online educations by helping them navigate these new resources.
It is arguably most helpful to talk to students who have completed the online program to find out what it is really like. Only students who have actually been through the program can explain to students how much time they will need to get all of their work done, how often assignments and tests have to be submitted, how professors and other students are available to provide academic assistance, and how the program helps prepare them for their future work.
Finally, once students have all of the information they can get and they enroll in the program, it is helpful for students to create a plan or schedule that will allow them to stay on top of all of their work. Many programs require that assignments or tests be submitted weekly, and students must be prepared to meet that demand.
Ask for Help
It can be difficult for online students to ask for academic help. There are no college and career centers, no office hours, and no other peers with whom to form study groups. Some students and colleges have helped alleviate this problem by creating online chat rooms where students can exchange ideas and online office hours where professors are available in chat rooms. Some online students have found other academic assistance resources in their area. (NACE)