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Learning Effectively

Characteristics of a good online student

Student Expectations - Your instructor expects that you will:

  1. Read the syllabus. Important documents should be printed out and saved for future reference. Make sure you understand course requirements in regards to completion of course material, activities and online participation.
  2. Refer to all instructions provided before seeking assistance.
  3. Log in to your courses and check for announcements, emails, discussion board posts and calendar entries several times a week. Make a weekly time schedule that will set time aside for your online courses regularly. Spend 2 - 3 hours studying for each semester hour.
  4. Not procrastinate and that you will manage your time effectively.
  5. Post comments and responses to the discussion board whenever necessary.
  6. Keep track of all your assignments, quizzes, emails and discussion board posts. Try to complete quizzes and assignments before the due dates. Avoid last minute problems with technology. Schedule your timetable accordingly.
  7. Actively participate in class discussions. Some instructors may grade discussion postings. Be an active online student by posting regularly on the discussion board, by replying, by asking questions and by providing positive feedback to other classmates and your instructor.
  8. Practice "Netiquette". Be polite and respectful in your postings (no "Flaming" or posting / sending negative, hurtful comments to others); use good grammar and correct spelling; don't write in all capital letters (it looks to others like you're shouting).

Instructor Expectations - You can expect that your instructor will:

  1. Provide clear and complete directions.
  2. Respond to your emails or discussion postings in a timely manner. Check your syllabus for your instructor's policy. Most will respond within 24 hours, Monday-Friday.
  3. Grade your work in a timely manner. Again, consult your course documents for when grading will be done.

Hardware/Software Expectations - In order to succeed in an online class you will need:

  1. An Internet Connection: If you wish to work from home, you will need to have an Internet connection. This will require you to make arrangements with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for a connection (Broadband, DSL or Dial-Up).
  2. Know-how: Learn the rudimentary basics of operating a computer. Learn how to create, save and edit files, how to surf the internet, how to read and send emails, how to attach files to emails.
  3. Hardware: Arrange for access to the necessary hardware: computer, modem, telephone, and cables. If you don't have access to a personal computer, use the Learning Center on campus. If you plan on using the Learning Center, you will have to make time for it so that it is part of your regular schedule.
  4. Software: Arrange for access to the necessary software: connection software, web browser and email program. You will also need course-specific software, if your course requires one such. If you have problems getting software, use the Learning Center on campus.