Here’s the scoop. There’s no such thing as a teacher’s pet in the online classroom. So, if you’re the type of person that needs extra attention by sitting at the front of the room–stick with bricks-n’-mortar. The online classroom is a great equalizer for less gregarious students, but even so, with online learning you still must make your voice heard.
Rather than vocal discourse, quality online learning depends on thoughtful posts. The forum gives time for students to research and contemplate in-depth questions and answers. Sometimes class “discussion” can be elevated online if students challenge the topics by researching and posting quality replies. The focus tends to be on the information and the argument, and not necessarily the person talking.
Whenever you first start an online class–get engaged. After kicking-the-tires of the learning management system, the library, forum and other resources, connect with your peers and your instructor by immediately asking questions. Why? Enthusiasm is contagious. You’ll prompt interesting responses and any questions you have–other students are probably wondering the same. Plus, if you’re a respected contributor and you enrich the discussion, your peers will look forward to collaborating with you in future classes.
What are some questions you might consider asking?
Go with your gut, but here are a few questions that can help you kick it off:
- Are we going to cover everything mentioned in the syllabus?
- Will there be practical, real-world examples included?
- Do I have the opportunity to workshop a problem I’m experiencing in my job?
If what you’re studying is directly related to your career, capitalize on any opportunity to relate the curriculum and assignments to your work projects. Sometimes you will find viable solutions by sharing it with classmates that have worked similar projects. Plus, your instructor will appreciate your contribution. And that’s a positive start without having to leave an apple on the teacher’s desk.
By J. Thompson
Online Learning Tips Staff