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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