Home Online Learning Five Essential Tips to Remember as You Take Your First Online Class
Five Essential Tips to Remember as You Take Your First Online Class

Five Essential Tips to Remember as You Take Your First Online Class

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By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, Online Learning Tips

Taking your first online class is a very different experience from taking a class at a brick-and-mortar school. An online class may feel confusing at first, but the knowledge you gain from the class is well worth the effort.

It is vital to log in to your online classroom every day or at least several times a week. You’ll need to keep careful track of the work to do each week and when to submit your work to the instructor. This way, you’ll avoid getting behind or being marked down for being late.

Here are five tips to guide you through your first online class:

1. Don’t forget to download your syllabus. The syllabus contains a variety of useful information, such as your reading assignments for the week, what quizzes you must take and when papers are due.

2. Create a calendar based on your classwork. You can write down due dates on a wall calendar, create a customized calendar or use a calendar app.

3. Remember that the information you need to see each week may be stored in various sections of the online classroom. For instance, be sure to check the Announcements, Lessons, Forums and Assignments sections, so that you don’t miss important information your instructor wants you to know.

4. Watch deadlines carefully to avoid a lower grade. Some instructors, for example, require your initial forum post to be submitted by Wednesday evening, while others have a deadline of Thursday evening. Also, your written assignments should be turned in by their deadlines, which are clearly explained in the Assignments section of the classroom.

5. Interact with at least two other students on the forum each week and read other forum posts as time permits. Reading the information on other students’ forum posts is a useful way to further your education. A classmate or your instructor can often provide unique information based on their own education and experience, especially if he or she is a subject matter expert on that topic.

Taking an online class requires discipline, organization and effort. If you need extra help, you can always contact your instructor by email or set up an appointment to talk with him or her through Adobe Connect. For further assistance, you can also contact Classroom Support, your academic advisor or a university librarian.