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Top Ten Tips for Success in Online Classes

There are many conveniences of online education, particularly for those returning to school while maintaining a job or supporting a family; however, obtaining a degree online poses a unique set of challenges, such as staying organized and holding yourself accountable for your work throughout the semester. Joseph Chapman, director of student services at Arizona State University Online, has helped many students navigate the challenges faced when completing a degree online. Below are his top ten tips for success in online classes.

  • Commit to an online study schedule as if you are attending an on-campus class. Plan to study at least two hours a week per credit and commit to those two hours at the same time each week.
  • Get comfortable with the technology required to complete your courses online. Test all class components before the term starts and know where to get technical support in the event that you need it.
  • Consistently interact with your professors, as establishing relationships with them will help you stay motivated to understand the material and ask questions.
  • Purchase newspapers, magazines and other materials relevant to your coursework, in addition to the text assigned in class. Allot time each day to read these materials to stay up-to-date on current industry news and see how what you are learning applies to real life circumstances.
  • Set goals for yourself and post them somewhere visible in your workspace. They will serve as a reminder of what you want to achieve and why you are completing your degree.
  • Communicate and collaborate with your family and employer. Completing a degree online is a big time commitment, and you will need their support and understanding.
  • Stay organized by keeping your calendar up-to-date with assignment due dates and dates of major tests. This will ensure you don’t fall behind, as once you get behind in an online class it is challenging to catch up.
  • Communicate with your classmates, as this will help you feel connected to them, even in an online setting. If there are students from your classes located near you, form a study group to interact in person as well as online.
  • Create a study environment that helps you excel. A quite workplace without interruption from roommates or family is necessary for success in an online course.
  • Participation in organizations. Joining organizations related to your online degree allows you to network within your field and gain real-life insight in addition to the knowledge gained in class.

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