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Tips for online students: Be engaged, make connections, reap the benefits

SU Online student Katlyn Taylor smiles at the camera with her fingers displaying the ASU pitchfork. By: Katlyn Taylor, ASU Online bachelor of communication student and ASU brand ambassador

When you’re in an online class, you may feel like there is a lack of social interaction or relationship-building. As someone who strives on social interaction (hence the communications major), I wanted to apply and strengthen my social skills by building connections in my online classroom. I always recommend taking the extra step in discussion boards to get to know your peers and your professors. Not only are you engaging with the coursework, but you are also building relationships that will advance you in both your personal life and professional one.

If you want to take your academic career to the next level, reach out to your professors. Email them and call them frequently.

I Skyped some throughout my ASU Online journey! Two of my professors even wrote my letters of recommendations for my grad school application. I know that, had I not reached out and made connections with them, they would not have been able to speak to my true abilities and passion. In fact, if they didn’t know me, they may not have even be willing to write one at all.

The academic world can feel like a competition at times, especially in grad school. Connecting with your peers can help you gain insight into their passions, which will expand your knowledge and widen your interests. Building these connections now will help you in your professional career later. I am grateful to be working alongside brilliant people in my grad program, whom one day I will be publishing with, working with, and reading their research.

As a course assistant, I get to watch ASU Online students interact with each other and see them engaging and learning from one another.

Top tip! Don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers and professors with questions! It can definitely feel awkward, but trust me, I love when students or my peers reach out— a little goes a long way! Also, if you engage with your professors, they are more likely to work with you in regard to coursework, re-writes, and even extra credit at times (this definitely varies)! Professors are a lot more likely to have some leniency with an engaged, active student than with a student who they have not heard from at all during the semester.

Lastly, make sure to connect with your peers beyond one-off questions! Genuinely make friends; you can even create study groups with them. I created Skype study groups and it helped so much. In your courses, especially in the core major classes, your peers are in the same boat and can relate to what you’re going through.

We're so excited to share Katlyn’s story! Katlyn is a part of our #LearnASULive team, an ASU Online brand ambassador program highlighting students who are earning their degrees while living their lives to the fullest. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check back for new articles from Katlyn so that you can follow along with her journey. To check out all her posts to date, visit Katlyn’s Instagram.

Want to hear from our other ambassadors, too? Use the #LearnASULive hashtag across your favorite social channels to browse through them.

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