As the use of computers and the internet increases, it seems the number of online classes being offered by universities is also increasing. Some universities have even begun to have graduate degree programs that have only online courses. Online courses offer unique challenges compared to other face-to-face classes (including students having to deal with glitches in the programs needed for online classes). Having taken quite a few online classes myself, I have compiled a list of tips for how to be successful in online classes.
1. Take note of the due dates for all assignments
You can write down the due dates in a montly/weekly planner, or you could use an online calender to keep track of due dates. This is important for all classes, but it is even more important for online classes due to the increased personal responsibility that comes with online classes. Professors in charge of online classes tend to be much stricter in regards to deadlines and will be less sympathetic to students if a student forgets to turn in an assignment on time. Every online class I have taken had a line in the syllabus that said “Because this is an online class and all due dates are listed in this syllabus, no late work will be accepted.”
2. Take a look at the test taking policy
Does the professor want you to take tests at a testing center or using test monitoring software? Or does the professor not list any rules regarding taking the tests? You want to make sure you know and you understand your professor’s policy regarding tests for online classes. Many professors don’t care about how you take the test. However, this is changing due to an increase in test monitoring programs that are being created. Some professors also want their students to take their exams at university testing centers in order to ensure that students are not using their textbooks or notes while taking the test. Also, make sure that you know if the tests are timed or not and if there are specific dates/times for taking the tests for the class.
3. Study for your online class just how you would for any other class
Just because the class is online doesn’t mean that you get out of studying. You still need to learn in order to pass the class, but the best thing about online classes is that you technically have more time to study for them. My favorite thing to do while taking an online class is to set specific times during the week just for studying for that class. Online classes vary greatly in their expectations and their daily work, but one tip that I have is that you should set aside three one-hour time blocks to do your work for your online class. This should give you enough time to watch any lecture videos, do any readings, and complete any assignments for that week. If needed, you can increase the number of time-blocks and their length if needed.
4. Report any bugs immediatly to your professor and the support/help team for the website/program/software used for the class
You never know when a bug may appear that will prevent you from submitting/completing your work, and when one does appear make sure to take screencaps/screen-shots of the problem and report it to the support/help team. After you have reported it to the support team, e-mail your professor and let them know about the problem you encountered. Sometimes it may just be a problem that your computer is having, but it may also be a widespread problem that everyone in your class is dealing with. The sooner you report a bug/problem the sooner it can be dealt with and fixed.
Writing a ‘good’ paper depends by and large on what your professor wants or demands of you, unfortunately. This is a problem, of course, because it makes setting ‘criteria’ for writing a problem (if there really is any). As it is, most teachers like to see this format in formal essays:
- Introduction. This includes:
- Presenting to the Topic:the subject, the subject’s relevant history, what you’ll be discussing, and optionally, the order in which you’ll be discussing them.
- Stating the Thesis:the point you’re trying to prove; this is NOT A SINGLE WORD, but an argument you are trying to make with the evidence you choose as support. (Instead of “The theme of narcissism in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is important,” talk about what it shows and how. Does the characters’ self-love backfire on them? What does it show? Why do you think Shakespeare made a point, however, subtly, to emphasize this theme? “William Wells Brown’s use of Clotel, a young black woman with a significantly powerful political figure as a father, for a protagonist is a comment the hypocrisy of 1850s America,” is a lot stronger than “Clotel discusses many political, racial, social, and gender issues.”)
- Body Paragraph: Point 1: Building off your introduction, state your first point; this should support your thesis directly. Bring in direct, quoted evidence here; more on that below.
- Body Paragraph: Point 2
- Body Paragraph: etc…
- Conclusion: Briefly summarize your points and wrap up your topic. Save your strongest phrasing (not arguments) for this paragraph; you’ll want to end on a strong note. This is also where you’ll want to come to, if any, a new understanding of the text and mention what’s changed for you (describe yourself as the “reader” or the “audience”), or address any arguments that could be made against your argument here and provide defense against them.
This is not a flawless format — I’ve had to adjust it and you likely will too — but by and large it’s the commonly accepted model that your readers will expect you to follow. (It generally works pretty well for me.)
I have finally finished compiling a list of things that everyone seems to forget to buy whenever they are moving into a dorm/apartment.
This’ll cover the basics, such as financial expectation, rental history, what to bring for the application process, etc.
Since many people start looking for their first apartment in college, I thought that this would be a really good list to share.
It can be much harder to connect with your teachers/professors in college than it is in high school. You only take their class for one semester, and in a lot of cases, you’re one in a classroom of forty, fifty, or even a hundred, not one in a class of twenty or twenty-five. However, my advice to you is to find a professor or two you like in your department or major or whatever, and really try to connect with them. Not only is it nice and really cool to have a teacher you actually like and can relate to, these connections can be very useful to you, even after your semester in their class is over.
How to make these connections:
- Do outstanding work, especially on papers and writing assignments.
- If there are opportunities where your professor is going to be comparing your work to other students’, or seeing your work alongside other students’ (such as an online discussion board where you and your classmates make posts), do your best to make yourself stand out. Analyze the reading material or question at a deeper level. Go “the extra mile.”
- Participate in class whenever you can do so meaningfully. When the teacher asks questions or asks for thoughts or interpretations, respond. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions. This will make you stand out - even if your professor only recognizes your face at first, it’s better than nothing, and faces will eventually connect to names.
- If something in a lecture or reading made an impression on you (good or bad), try and approach the professor before or after class to share your thoughts and feelings. You can also visit office hours to talk with them then.
Throughout my time at college, in all of my classes relating to this major that I’m graduating in, by doing the above, I have left classes with a bunch of professors liking me. Yay! This has been very useful. An obvious benefit is that my professors have been willing to write letters of recommendation for me, for grad school and such. Another benefit that comes in very handy when it’s time to graduate, is that your professors have connections - both within the university and in the wide world outside. Connections in your city, in your state, maybe even in other states.
One and a half years ago, one of my former professors helped get me my current job at the campus Disability Resource Center. Now, one of my former professors is trying to find me a permanent position at the DRC, and another one forwarded me some information on organizations in my city that are hiring. My internship supervisor let me know about some of his contacts in another city, if I ever want to relocate.
In my experience, professors are definitely willing to help good students, especially students whom they like, whom they know to be competent, and who have connected with them.
Bringing myself to actively participate in class and make an impress on professors, such as speaking and sharing my thoughts at least once a class session, was always a struggle for me, because of my anxiety. I made myself do it, even though I would get all hot and sweaty, my stomach would feel weird, and my heart would be pounding for the rest of the session. The benefits have been so worth it.
Some awesome college tips.
The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation is unique in that it offers scholarships to single mothers, children who attend alternative schools, students who have earned a GED, students with grade point averages of 2.0 and students who have previously been incarcerated, etc., but desire a higher educational opportunity.
Although it’s normal to feel some anxiety when you’re preparing for, or taking, a test - too much can hamper you from doing well. Below are some tips to help you to cope with this:
1. Learn and apply proven studying techniques so you feel you really know the test material. This should help to improve your confidence and reduce excessive anxiety.
2. Work on staying positive while you’re studying. Think about doing really well, not always struggling, or even failing.
3. Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before a test.
4. Don’t forget to eat right before a test either. You need protein to have enough energy to concentrate fully for the length of the test. Avoid junk food as that tends to lead to a high and then a low.
5. Try to calm and relax yourself as you enter the test room. Take a few slow, deep breaths. In your head repeat positive self-statements like “I am well prepared. I’m going to do a good job on this test.”
6. Don’t start to panic if the questions seem too hard. Just skip over the ones you can’t do, and keep reading until you find something you CAN do.
7. Ignore the fact that other students seem to be finishing before you. Take all the time you need and focus on doing your best.
8. Once the test is over, try and forget about it. There’s nothing you can do until your mark is returned to you … and maybe you’ve aced it, or done really well!
Well ladies and gentlemen (and those of the gender fluid variety) it is that time of the semester again. Finals are just around the corner, and I wanted to share my own personal tips for how to survive finals without having to pull any all-nighters.
1. Begin studying one to two weeks before finals.
Gather your materials, find out what the final is going to be over, and start making your study guides early. The sooner you start studying the more time you will have to complete your study guides (if you make those) and to study all of the material your final may cover. This also allows for studying to be spread out over a wider period of time.
2. MeghanJH’s rule of 20 and 5
You know how you start to get bored and distracted about 20-30 minutes into studying? Well there is a good reason for that, the human brain only has an attention span of about 20-30 minutes. My tip for how to handle this is to study for 20 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. Do about 4-5 sets of this and then take a longer break (about 30 minutes to an hour). The reason this technique works is because it allows you to remain focused while also providing breaks for your brain.
3. Set aside specific days/times to study for different classes.
During the week(s) leading up to finals week, make a study schedule. This schedule should assign specific days and times to study for specific classes. For example, you can assign Mondays from 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm to be your study time for History and Tuesdays from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm for Biology. This allows you to remain focused in your studying and to keep track of how much you are studying for each final exam. Include times for when to eat meals and when you plan to sleep.
4. Before and during finals week, get enough sleep!
Sleep is highly important for your brain to function, so try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each day. It does you no good to go into a final exhausted and sleepy.
Hi there, I thought I’d just make a quick guide with some tips on how to study for exams or finals or other things of that sort.
First of all, for all of you on here who should be studying… I recommend you get some self control.
These apps will help control what you do on the internet, and when you do it. Self control apps work wonderfully and even if you delete them, they are still in effect, so if you’re really addicted this is good for you.
Some tips I can provide to you are:
- Time management, nuff said.
- Make a calendar of your month and plan everything out - make sure you put EVERYTHING on that schedule, so you know what weekends you actually have free.
- Try to get all homework or in-class assignments done IN CLASS, you might need to study after school.
- Go for extra help - what I do is I do all the review for one unit, and while I’m doing it, I make a sheet of all the questions (with page numbers so the teacher can do it with me) that I couldn’t get, a list of questions that I need to ask and also some general questions for the exam. Then I go for extra help and make sure everything’s covered. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Do unit-by-unit and start from stuff you learned at the beginning of the year, because you probably forgot more of that than what you just learned.
- Do practice exams! They are probably my favourite prep. What I don’t understand on the practice exam is key, because 99.9% of the time it’ll be on my actual exam.
Before actual exam…
- sleep well night before (don’t start cramming too late into the night)
- eat well morning of
- make sure everything is organized in terms of what you can take into the exam (pencil case etc.)
- make sure you’ve got the time right
I hope this helped somebody, as these are the things I do before exams. Good luck everyone, be calm, study hard and remember, IT’S ALMOST OVER!
What greatly shaped my college list was my need for financial aid, and lots of it. I mean, TONS of it. Are you in my shoes, trying to figure out all the college speak in terms of how much money you…
What’s the difference between need-blind, no-loan, and all that other FinAid terminology? Staff writer Dario Rabak breaks it down for you!
- Invest in systematic recruitment
- Understand target audience
- Correct misconceptions keeping students from entering teaching
- Connect undergrads with exemplary teachers
I know some of my followers may be interested in going into teaching so I thought I would share this.
Researchers randomly selected students for basic meditation instructions before a lecture and discovered that the students who meditated before the lecture scored better on a subsequent quiz than students who did not meditate.
photo via flickr:CC | nikoschwarz