Best On-Line Learning Practices
1. If you do not own a computer you need to reconsider taking an on-line class. If you are planning on using a friend’s or relative’s computer to do your on-line work or just use the college’s computers you will not do well in your on-line class. While the college does have computer labs they are not assessable 24 hours a day 7 days a week. While friends and family will offer their computer to use it might not be assessable for much of the week or when you need to take that timed on-line quiz.
2. Check to see if your computer has enough memory to use Laulima. If you use an older computer to access the internet make sure it will be able to run the Laulima software. If you have an old computer (5+ years) or do not have a computer you need to reconsider taking an on-line class.
3. Do you have regular access to a computer with high speed internet? You cannot participate in an on-line class without regular access (at least once a day) to a computer with high speed internet. If you only have dial-up internet you will not be able to take on-line exams that are timed. You will also waste a lot of time waiting for each page to load.
4. Expect to work at least 6-8 hours a week on class work. If you are taking a 3 credit class you should expect to work at least 6 hours a week on class work, including studying for exams, homework, or writing assignments as you would for a face to face class.
5. Email your professor immediately if you have questions about the class or a class assignment. Your professor cannot see your facial expressions and will not know you are lost or have a question unless you make contact.
6. You need to be a self motivator. Since you do not have to be in class at a given time it is easy to “skip” your on-line class. Unless you are very disciplined, you should set a time every day that you log-on to your class, just like you would in a face to face class.
7. Log-on to the course before the first day of semester. It is a good idea to log-on to the class and explore the “classroom.” Find the syllabus, any welcome statements from your professor, and see how the class is set up.
8. The first day of class is the first day of the semester. Log on to the class the first day of the semester…even if you had logged on earlier. Class starts that day and most likely there will be assignments and homework posted.
9. Do not be dropped from class. Many of the on-line classes fill up fast and many professors have waiting lists. If you fail to log in by the second day of the semester you may be dropped so that someone else has a chance to take the class. Your professor may take attendance in an online course like they would in a face to face class.
10. Do not wait until the last minute to hand in work. As with any other face to face class waiting to the last minute to do assignments is never a good idea. With on-line classes everything due is a typed assignment or involves computer work of some kind. If you are a procrastinator, on-line courses will be hard for you to do well in.
11. Technology can fail. Unforeseen consequences can affect turning in an assignment or completing an on-line exam. Telling the professor that your computer crashed or other techno-excuse is the equivalent of saying your dog ate your homework.
12. Establish study partners either in person or on-line. Just like a face to face class, having a study partner or group can help you do better in class. You can meet in person or use a chat room your professor has set up. If your professor does not have chat rooms ask for one.