If you want to be a successful online learner, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to the idea as much as you would need to if you decided to be a successful student. The first step to anything is the decision that you will be good at it, and being confident enough to follow through. That said, there are specific successful online learning tips that it helps to keep in mind.
- Be someone who can set his or her own schedule.
You don’t get your online degree or diploma in your “spare time.” You set aside time to earn your degree. You can make this time whenever you want, but you have to make it, or it will never get done– just like that bestselling novel you’ll write one day.
Make the time, be decisive, and be clear with your housemates that you are a serious student and online school work is serious business.
- Have a plan for the future.
This is more important than most people realize. Why do you want an online degree? What purpose will it serve once you’re done? Procrastination and a lack of motivation will onset quickly if you do not have a clear idea of your wants and desires. When you want something, it’s easy. Motivation comes in buckets to your doorstep.
Because an online degree is a self-motivation driven endeavor, this is critical. You need to pick something body, mind, and soul will be happy with. True, even when following our dreams we need a motivational kick, but don’t make it harder than it has to be. Have a plan. Have a desire, even if that desire changes.
You don’t have to read a lot of extra books or anything like that for an online degree: you just have to read what you’re given, and read directions. In my online courses, the number one issue that would bring students down is they would not read. If you can’t put in the effort to read directions or read the course work given to you, you don’t belong in college. Showing up is half the battle, but in an online course, “showing up” means “reading the actual classroom material.”
- Always have a backup.
A backup plan and a backup of your information. Always make sure your assignments are saved somewhere else. Putting them on Google Docs is a great way to save your work– putting them on a flash drive or external hard drive is also a good idea.
And in case your internet goes out, you need a backup plan. Can you run to the library or internet cafe and use the connection there? Or will you be turning work in so early you will have time to turn it in later if the internet goes out just before you hand it in? Always have “just in case” plans.
- Be organized.
It doesn’t matter how you organize yourself, but keep organized. In an online learning environment, there are few external reminders. Set them yourself. Keep a calendar by your desk with due dates, or use a computer program to help keep your schedule in order. Put post-its on your computer. It doesn’t matter, just keep organized. Know what you need done, when, and you can’t fail.