Five tips for online classes

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013

Students who take online classes have to be highly motivated and self-directed to succeed in the course. Online classes are very similar to traditional classes in that there are lectures (sometimes), homework, discussions and exams. While they are similar online classes do require a little more attention. Here is a list of tips and tricks to help you succeed in your online class. 1. Read the syllabus before class starts. It is vital that you read the syllabus before the start of the semester. Take all of the important dates and schedule them in your digital calendar. 2. Have the required materials. This means not only having a computer but also having a secure Internet connection. What if I can’t afford wifi? Don’t worry. Go to Starbucks or Panera Bread. Also, make sure you have the book(s) or check to see if the book(s) is online. 3. Use your school’s resources. Your school most likely has a career center, tutoring center and a library. Use these resources to succeed in your online class. (The library probably has wifi also). 4. Utilize the class directory. Somewhere in your online course there should be a student directory. See if you know anyone in your online class and create a study group. Even if you don’t know anyone, send out a mass email to see if anyone would be interested in getting together to work on the class together. 5. Have a clean and organized study environment. It is important to make sure that not only your desk stays clean but also your computer desktop. Do you have any tips for online students? Tell us in your...

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How to make a good impression in an online course

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013

I have taken a lot of online classes in my day; and so, I’ve seen my fair share of what not to do in an online class. Some people just want to argue while others spell lik dis. While an online discussion board is the place to have hot debate, it is not the place to gang up on fellow classmates. As for spelling, remember your professor reads your posts, and if you spell worse than a kindergartener then, well, that just isn’t going to look good. Just because your class is online doesn’t mean you cannot make a killer impression on your professor and even your classmates. Below is a list of ways to make a stellar impression in your online class. Be interested and interesting The easiest way to be interesting is to be genuinely interested in other people. In your online class, actually read the assignment, actually read your classmates’ posts, think and then post your response. Maybe you don’t find the first post you read interesting. That’s okay. Just keep reading until you find one you can at least write something good back to. Do your assignments early and on-time This should be obvious. If you want to impress your professor then do your online class assignments on-time or even better –  early. Use correct spelling and grammar Do not type in an online class like you would text your girlfriends or boyfriends. This should also be pretty self-explanatory. You want your professor to respect you and your peers to understand you. Be involved Just because your professor doesn’t have face-to-face office hours doesn’t mean that you cannot get to know him or her. Message him or her in Blackboard. Ask questions. Force them to learn your name in a good way. Be positive, courteous and attentive No matter how badly a fellow classmate is instigating you keep it positive and be courteous. Even if they’re being a jerk maybe they bring up a valid point. How do you make a good impression in your online class? Tell us in your comments...

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Online student problems

Posted by on Jul 6, 2013

Online courses are great. They are flexible, and they don’t require you to drive to campus and sit through a boring a lecture. With like any college class, online classes have their downfalls. For instance, many students would argue that online class professors require more work to be done to make up for students not having to watch lectures every week. Here is a list of problems I have personally had with online classes. 1. Internet problems You’re in the library because your roommate is being obnoxiously loud when you’re trying to take an online exam for 30 percent of your grade. The Internet has been working fine until you open Blackboard. As soon as you hit open the time is running and every moment counts (especially if you didn’t study), but now, the Internet decides to freeze. We’ve all been there. This is definitely the number one online student problem. 2. Long lines Online classes are supposed to be online so why do you have to go to testing lab for a proctored exam? This makes no sense. Okay, so you have to go to campus. That’s not that big of a deal… until you see the line is out the door because everyone on campus wanted to take their exam at the same time as you – last minute. 3. Too much talking writing Discussion board posts – they suck! Not only does it require you to read all of your classmates boring posts but it also requires you to respond back. The worst part is the professor requires about 50 of these posts per week. Ridiculous! 4. Long readings Since online classes typically have no lectures to watch professors make up for this by assigning long readings in the book. Basically, they never have to teach and all you have to do is memorize and underline to save yourself for the cumulative exam at the end of the semester. What are your problems with online classes? Tell us in your comments...

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Four tips to own your online classes

Posted by on Jun 23, 2013

As a student who juggled work, four classes and an internship I thought it would be smart to register in all online classes. I thought because the classes were online that I would never have to study because I could just use my book or my friend. Oh, was I so wrong. I have found online classes to be more difficult than offline classes because as it turns out using your book during a test (without studying) will almost always result in a bad grade. Whether you have taken all online classes or no online classes here are some helpful tips I used in order to pass my online class. 1. Read Reading is a must do for online classes because it is the only way you are going to learn the information. If all you do is skim over the professor’s Power Points, and say “I agree” on every discussion you will never pass the class; never mind, the fact that the professor will start marking down your grade for every “I agree” or “Great point.” Discussions are a significant part of your grade in an online class (and probably the most annoying part of it). No matter how annoyingly tedious it may be, actually read your classmates’ responses. It will help you in the end. 2. Provide good feedback Aside from posting your own opinion, your professor will require you to respond to two to three of your classmates – another stupid task for an online class. Make sure you provide a descriptive response to your classmates’ posts. Not only will this get you a better grade (and brownie points with the professor), but it will also help you when it comes time to take the exam. 3. Be Responsive This should be an obvious must, but I know as a busy college student I can be pretty bad at responding. Don’t be like me. If the professor or a classmate comments on your post, respond back and acknowledge it. It’s just the courteous thing to do. 4. Post your sources Think like an opinion columnist. When they write an opinion column, their editors require that they back up their opinions with validated research and/or responses from experts on the given topic. Make sure if you are going to offer your opinion that you back it up with great references. Are you over all this online class...

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Is an online class more important than experience?

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013

“Would you want a doctor who cheated his or her way through medical school?” This question was posed in response to a blog post we wrote earlier this week called Why schools should relax about cheating. The answer is no, we would most certainly not want a doctor who cheated his or her way through medical school (although I do know a few veteran nurses who slept their way through school); and so, we are most definitely not suggesting that they do. With that being said, we do not believe every undergraduate class in college will make or break a student’s ability to do great work in the professional world. Do journalism majors really need to learn calculus? Even so that still may not be an excellent reason for a student to get help with their online class; nevertheless, I do have a reason, which I believe to be a valid one. According to Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder, author of The New College Reality, “Today nearly 20 percent of the unemployed in the United States have college degrees while less than half of all college graduates under age twenty-five are working jobs that require them.” Kerrigan also reported, based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “There are currently over 482,000 customer service representatives with college degrees, along with 317,000 waiters and waitresses. There are over 80,000 bartenders and 18,000 parking lot attendants – part of a total of 17 million Americans with college degrees working at jobs that do not require college-level skills.” What do these statistics have to do with cheating? A lot. In Fall 2011, there were 21.6 million undergraduate students and 2.9 million graduate students enrolled in U.S. colleges, but, according to the Economic Policy Institute, only an estimated 2 million did internships. Most students don’t have time for and/or cannot afford to undertake an internship, and experience is what employers value most. They do not care about GPAs, majors and the like. Never mind the fact that students learn more in the workplace than they do in classes. So yes, while a doctor cheating his way through medical school is not good, an undergraduate having someone take an online class, which has little to do with his or her profession, is okay in our book because it provides them with time to gain something much more valuable – identity capital. If you’re having trouble...

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