Study Skills and Survival Tips
The first time you visit the course...
Read and print the course Syllabus (and keep it handy every time you log in to your class).
Review the calendar of activities. Create a personal system for remembering important course activities and deadlines (assignment and quiz due dates, discussion board availability etc.).
Take the time to navigate around the course. Read all posted course announcements and become familiar with the Course Menu in the upper left corner of your screen. Click all the buttons and review the contents of each folder to determine the location of important items, resources and tools (discussion board, email, assignments, etc.).
Contact your instructor as indicated in the Syllabus if you have any questions or need clarification on some items. If enrolled in a hybrid/blended course, be sure to check for the days that your class meets on campus and what course activities are completed in each format.
Maximize your learning Achievement.
Getting a head start and attaining academic success begins with understanding your learning strengths or your preferred approach to intake and process information. Become familiar with the tools and resources available to you within and outside the online or hybrid/blended classroom.
Share ideas, information and comments with your instructor and the rest of the class, and read your classmates' ideas, too. Your instructor provides information in your course, but you can get great insight from your peers and they can learn from you, too.
Take your education seriously.
Develop a support group of friends, family, and co-workers before you start out on your online or hybrid/blended learning experience. This support group will help you through those times when you may need to sit at your computer for hours in the evenings and on weekends. It will help you mentally to surround yourself with people who understand, support, and respect what you are doing.
Have a space where you can study.
Use your study space on a regular basis to ensure that you and your family know that this is not the space to eat, sleep, or chat. If possible, your study space should be where you can shut the door and work in peace as needed. If you share your study space with the living room, dining room, or bedroom, other needs or activities may take priority over studying.
Log in to your course as often as possible.
Accessing your class several times each week is recommended to ensure timely participation in class discussions, receipt of important class announcements and messages, and completion of assignments, quizzes and other course activities. Additionally, you may become eager to see who has commented on your postings and to read feedback from your instructor and other students. You may also need to see who has posted something new that requires a response from you. If you wait too long to log in to your course, you can fall behind and may find it hard to catch up.
Take advantage of the online environment.
No one can see you, so there are no stereotypes, and you don't have to worry about rolled eyeballs or people making other non-verbal reactions to your comments. You can take all of the time you need to think about your ideas and write a response before actually posting your comments to the class. Be sure and keep in mind that your posts should be written with the same tone and respect with which you expect fellow classmates to write their posts.
Speak up if you are having problems.
Your instructor and classmates are valuable resources, so speak up and be clear when needing assistance. Let your instructor know as soon as technical difficulties arise or when you don't understand course content.
If you are having difficulty with the course, then it is possible that other students are having the same problem. If you post your problem on the discussion board, then another student may be able to help you. Later in the course, you may be able to return the favor by explaining something to a classmate in need of help. By doing this, you will not only help your classmate, you will also reinforce what you have already learned about the subject.
Always let your instructor know if you will not be able to meet a deadline.
Apply what you learn.
Most people learn by doing, so apply everything you learn in your class as you learn it. If you apply it, you will remember it more readily. If you can, take the skills, knowledge, and information that you acquire in your class to the workplace and put them to use. By sharing advice, information, and ideas, you are internalizing what you learn. You and your classmates can benefit from your experiences. Remember to take full advantage of your learning experience and enjoy yourself! Learning good communication skills is just a bonus of taking any class, so take advantage of the opportunity and learn how to effectively communicate online. While you are contributing to your class, you may also find yourself making some new friends!