Life and Style

College 101: 5 Tips to Succeed in an Online Course

Online courses are flexible. Many allow students to catch up on lectures via video recordings. There are even ways to connect with other students to collaborate on group projects if required. 

As technology has improved, people are no longer forced to move from home or give up their current career to expand their education. Completing online studies can prepare you for a new career, qualify you for promotion or be taken for personal enrichment. 

Although online studies are increasing in popularity and are convenient, many people do not complete their classes. Whether you want to take a medical secretary program or earn credits towards a degree, employing a few specific strategies can help ensure that you are a successful online student.

1. Have reliable internet access.

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You will need to be able to access information portals for your courses. Some courses include video lectures. You may also need to download and upload files. It's essential that you have a reliable internet service provider. Access your isp with a home router that effectively provides a stable connection to the internet so that you can access all of the information you need. 

A wireless router will enable you to move to different locations if you need to, based on household activities. Without reliable internet access, you will fall behind with your studies and may have to make plans to go to the library or another venue to get online. 

2. Invest in a laptop.

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A laptop is ideal for students because it’s portable. You may need to switch rooms to work in, because of family activities or other distractions. This isn’t possible if you have a desktop. With a laptop, you can take your schoolwork with you to the library, restaurants, and other locations. If you have a study group or study partner you can meet with them and still access all of your school resources, as well as your projects, by taking your school laptop with you. Another advantage of a laptop is that you may be able to take it with you to work and use it during your breaks. This is ideal for people who have mandatory lunch hours or limited study time. 

3. Network!

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Many courses are structured to require and promote collaboration between students. This involves networking online to exchange information and work together to complete projects. These collaborative assignments promote the development of communication skills. Students will also learn how to use different programs to allow for long-distance collaboration. This prepares individuals to collaborate with business colleagues across the country and around the globe. Networking is also an effective way of developing a support system. You will have classmates you can turn to for help if you are struggling with a concept or assignment. 

4. Be accountable.

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In order to complete your courses, you need to take responsibility for doing your work regularly and keeping up with your class materials. You know what motivates you to achieve goals. It may be that you feel positive when you check things off a list. You may be more likely to complete tasks when you indulge in a reward. 

Identify the system that most effectively motivates you to complete your work. If you know that you need external motivation, create an accountability system with another person or a group of people. Have them check in on you regularly to see if you have watched lectures read course materials and completed assignments. This can keep you from falling behind in your studies. Accountability is a key factor for career success

5. Be organized.

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Set aside sufficient blocks of time to process your course materials. It is important that you create an effective working environment where you will not be distracted. Make sure you budget time each week for your coursework so that you do not fall behind. When you start your course you should familiarize yourself with the major assignments and tests you will be expected to complete. Allocate study time for exams and work time for essays and other projects from the first week of your course. This will ensure that you don’t feel overwhelmed later when exams are approaching or assignments are due. It will also ensure you have enough time to complete everything and do well in your studies.

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