Richard G. Jones, Jr.
Scholar, Educator, Author

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Tips for Students in Online Classes:

Feb 24, 2013

How to Effectively Communicate and Learn in a Cyber-Classroom

Online courses are becoming more common. You may have even taken an online course or may be taking one now. Although we have an understanding of how the typical classroom functions, since we have been socialized into it, the online classroom presents a whole new set of variables and challenges. Some of our past classroom experiences will be relevant and some will not. Many online instructors and students are expected to “figure it out” as they go, which leads to frustrated teachers and students.

We’ll learn some tips for making online teaching and learning more effective for instructors and students next. The amount research and information available about online teaching and learning has increased dramatically in recent years, so there is much more information that isn’t included here. More resources for online teaching and learning can be found at the following link:http://www.eiu.edu/adulted/online_tips.php.

Tips for Students in Online Classes:

Schedule a time to do your online class work that works for your schedule and stick to it. Make sure that the time spent engaged directly with the course at least equals the amount a regular class would meet, typically about three hours a week for a sixteen-week semester. This doesn’t include homework and study time, which will also need to be scheduled in.

  1. Since technology is the primary channel for your learning, plan ahead for how you will deal with technology failures. Identify an additional place where you can access the Internet if necessary. Keep all your course documents backed up on a thumb drive so you can do course work “on the go” on computers other than your own.
  2. Ask questions when you have them so you don’t get lost and behind.
  3. Practice good “netiquette” when communicating with your instructor and classmates.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are some positives and negatives of online learning—from a teacher’s perspective and from a student’s perspective?
  2. What courses do you think would translate well to an online environment? What courses would be difficult to teach online?