It’s been said that the virtual platform allows the introverts to come out of their shell. Without the face to face interaction of a brick and mortar school, you rely more heavily on your social communication skills through text and content.
In the online learning environment the class clown isn’t favored, it’s the student that has the most value and information to offer the rest of the class. So, if you’re looking to fit in online, or at least network with students in your program, you’ll need to learn about the overall attitude of the student body. What’s the best way to do this? Get involved the school’s social networking groups. If you frequent a blog, or forum you’ll know that the more you particpate the more feedback and support you’ll receive. The same goes for social groups in an online school. Throw yourself into the mix by answering a question posted by one of the admins, or ask a question yourself. Depending on the response, helpful/not helpful, you can start to get a better sense on where other students are at.
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Don’t be afraid to use the chat feature, or engage other students within the classroom as well. Check with your advisor on if there’s a virtual student lounge you can visit to get in touch with other students. Online education still has the same end goal as any other brick and mortart institution, to educate and inspire innovation. Everyone interprets their education differently, but for the most part you’re in school because you want to be.
Just remember, you’re not alone in the learning process. There are thousands of other online students just like you working on their degree. One way to keep your motivation levels up while in school? Get social with your peers. I’ve seen friendships develop on our school pages on Facebook from students having continued and supportive interactions with one another. Take a second today to get connected with your peers online, you may find a new study buddy!
By: J. Mason