Being an online learner doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time learning alone. There are a few ways to insert peer interaction into your studies. This way you get the collegiate experience even when you can’t see all the other people learning around you.
For the extroverts that are a part of the online learning crowd it’s a big adjustment not being able to talk out loud in class. The physical act of being in a classroom interacting with others is what some people need to feel involved. If this sounds like you there are other ways to be verbal in class when your classmates aren’t physically present. You can meet up with your peers through your schools Facebook page. You can also reply to multiple students in their discussion posts throughout the week. While your professor may not award extra credit for the additional posts it is a great way to get to know others in your class. It’s the equivalent of raising your hand or continuing a lively class discussion.
The online forum allows many to showcase their intelligence regardless of social comfort levels. Take advantage of this format by using all of your resources. Again, social media is a great way to find people to connect with. If you find a like minded peer then message them in the classroom and make a plan to chat through social media. You can turn them into a class pacing buddy. This way you can stay on top of assignments, or even share class texts when they’re unable to download them.
One other thought for personalizing your online classroom is through designated study times and areas. If you have a place to “attend” classes from then it brings a since of reality to the situation. While online education is very convenient in that you can log in at any time, for some this kind of leeway could spell disaster if you’re not organized. Make plans to chat with your peers at certain points throughout the week, or send them emails when you have a question or an idea. Use all the digital tools you have at your fingertips to make your learning experience a unique one.
By J. Mason
Online Learning Tips Editor