Archive | Surviving School

Team Assignments in an Online Class

Team Assignments in an Online ClassOnline courses allow students to work on their own time and at their own pace, but what if your course requires you to complete team assignments? Instead of being fully responsible for your own grades, you now have to rely on others and at the same time, your classmates have to rely on you. Admittedly, I was nervous when I saw team assignments in my current course’s syllabus but now that we have turned in the first of three, I want to share a few tips to help you succeed.

Scope out your potential teammates. During the first week when everyone was doing their introduction posts, I read and responded to more posts than I have in previous courses. I connected with my classmates right away so that when it was time to select a team, I had already bonded with a few people. Continue Reading

Posted in Online Learning, Surviving School

Juan Williams Reminds Us to Avoid Plagiarism

plagiarism-guidancePolitical commentator Juan Williams was recently caught in a plagiarism scandal. Williams has since blamed the whole thing on his researcher, who apparently was less than clear on what was a summary and what was a near direct quote from another article. Regardless, comparisons of the text provide a prime example for students to understand that plagiarism is plagiarism even if you change a few words.

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Posted in Online Learning, Surviving School

Examine the Syllabi of Online Courses Before Starting

When trying to determine if a school or a single course is right for you, one approach is to examine the syllabi of the courses. This will tell prospective students just about anything they will need to know about the course in terms of the workload and expectations.

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Posted in Online Learning, Surviving School

Avoid Your Mental Plateau With Brain Teasers

The easy part of going to class is actually showing up, but if you’re an online student you have to will yourself to sign into the classroom at times. How can you get past this? Besides, being a self-starter and leaving encouraging notes for yourself maybe it’s time to try a different approach…external mental stimulation.

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Posted in Surviving School, Tip of the Day

How to Be Your Own Advocate in the Online Classroom

Self-Advocacy is a very important aspect of being a successful online student. Before you begin to understand how advocacy relates to the online classroom you must first understand what it means to be an advocate.

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Posted in Ask an Advisor, Surviving School

Prepare for the Online Experience With Online Tools

Give yourself an advantage with an arsenal of online tools for class. The extra assistance, and web tools will make the transition easier.

Here are some great tools and sites to add to your kit:

  1. Time Tracker
    to-do-list with a clock. This tool lets you know when you’re spending all of your time on one item, and alerts you to re-allocate time wasted to other efforts.
  2. Co-mapping
    Online mind mapping software to manage and share information. You can use it to take notes, plan and organize. It’s a way to have one set of notes, and one set of files.
  3. Notely
    For students looking to improve their grades with better organization, this is a great tool to utilize. Perfect for arranging your schedule, calendar, note-taking (if you need it), and homework planning.
  4. Dropbox
    This is a virtual file storage unit. Just like google docs, it’s free to use, but this tool is great because you can access it from anywhere; your mobile phone, smartphone, laptop, desk top, any computer away from your home. It makes your documents mobile because they’re stored in a private area on the internet.
  5. Zotero
    An add-on that helps a student keep track of all their sources while writing a research paper. It will help prepare a bibliographyfor Open Office or MS Word. It’s a Firefox extension.

Stay grounded in school, and carry an abundance of information and resources with you. If you know your options, you’ll be better equipped to handle the difficult assignments, time management issues, and term papers that come your way.

By J. Mason

Posted in Online Learning, Surviving School

Professional Journals and Your Success

Subscribing to professional journals now will enhance the odds of success in both your current studies and future in your chosen field. It is an excellent idea for students, new and veteran, so the sooner you do, the more you stand to gain.

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Posted in Online Learning, Surviving School

Online Student Survival: How to Stay Grounded as a New Student

Online Student Survival: Getting Through Your First Class OnlineYou may be nervous about starting your first class in your new online program, but don’t worry anxiety is completely normal. Studying online can be a little overwhelming at first, but with a little preparation, you can join your virtual class and start your courses with lower anxiety and more ambition.

Here are some tips to help you get through your first week as a new online student:

  • Take the training for the online classroom.
    Soon after you register for your first class you should receive an email from the classroom support group at your school. At American Public University (APU) you get a link to the online classroom training. Make sure you register for the training! It will give you an overview of what to expect and get familiarized with the terminology used such as forum, announcements, assignments, papers and exams. Once you are a few weeks into your classes, retake the training. You will be able to verify that you are using the classroom as you should and maybe learn a few additional elements to make your classroom experience optimal.
  • Free up your time in the first week.
    The first week is crucial so make sure to clear time in your schedule. Try to log into your class(es) as soon as Monday in order to get familiarized with the course and its objective as well as assessing that week’s workload. The “syllabus” and “lessons” tab are good places to start.
  • Familarize yourself with the preferred writing style.
    Do it right from the start! Get cozy with the style preferred by your school and write every assignment as if it was a full-on paper. That way when your first paper is due, you will already be prepared with the required technical writing skills.
  • Seek help from your peers if needed.
    Other students are more than willing to help. Like APU, many online universities establish virtual communities
    you can turn to if you have questions regarding your classroom and your online experience as a whole.

By: Isabelle dV
Guest Online Learning Tips Writer and M.B.A. student at American Public University

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