As millions of American students find themselves moving online from traditional classrooms, they may be challenged by their new medium of learning and engaging. Whether its adaptability struggles, tech issues, time management or self-motivation, transitioning to online education can be opening up a whole new world and routine of learning for many.
With that in mind, DeVry University spoke with some of their seasoned online learners and gathered their tips for navigating online learning. Below are just a handful of insights from experienced online students:
- Set Goal(s): In the morning, make a to-do list that must be completed by the end of the day. For long-term aspirations, write your goals in a letter to yourself and review as you progress.
- Pick an Accountability Partner: Ask someone to check in with you regularly, ask about your progress and provide encouragement. Some schools will give you an advisor to serve in this role.
- Reward Yourself: When you have achieved a goal or finished a to-do list, treat yourself with your favorite activity, food, or TV show.
- Know Yourself: Do some self-reflection to understand how you best learn, think and work to make your environment conducive to your workstyle strengths.
- Set a Musical Mood: Listen to a music tempo that matches how much you have to do or how you’re feeling. Put on a LoFi beat or use audio streaming and video conferencing to listen to the sound of the forest to stay calm under pressing deadlines for assignments.
- Limit Electronics: Silence or turn off your phone and stow it away until your school session is complete for the day.
- Be a Role Model: If you have kids, they are learning a powerful lesson by watching you study and seeing how you adapt to change and uncertainty.
- Be Persistent with Professors: When you need help, reach out to faculty in three different ways (for example email, text, audio streaming or video conferencing) but be patient while waiting for their response.
- Have Technical Support on Speed Dial: You will have technical issues or questions on your classes. Be sure to have the number for technical support, tutoring, and your advisors on hand.
- Be a Keyboard Hero: Attend scheduled lectures or discussions and participate by asking questions and commenting. At the same time, even though you’re online, take notes as you might in class.
- Post by Pasting: During an online discussion, draft your response to a topic or discussion in a document and review to gather your complete thoughts. Then, copy and paste to contribute to the discussion (don’t forget to spellcheck first!).
- Read Digital Body Language: Communicate effectively by paying attention to the rhythm and tone of the conversation and be responsive.
“Online learning is a more self-directed experience than the traditional classroom, and it takes some behavioral adjustments and time to navigate,” said Ryan Welch, a senior at DeVry who is earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in small business management and entrepreneurship. “But it’s well worth it. Learning online has given me a variety of tools and skills to excel.”
EDITORS NOTE: DeVry University can identify students or faculty to speak about teaching or learning online based on your interest, such as geographic or demographic personas.
About DeVry University
DeVry University’s mission is to foster student learning through high-quality, career-oriented education integrating technology, business, science and the arts. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online within its five distinguished colleges of study: Business & Management, Engineering & Information Sciences, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Media Arts & Technology. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, www.hlcommission.org). To learn more about DeVry University, visit devry.edu.