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With everything going on in the world right now, lots of students are looking towards going to college online and many of you may feel a bit of anxiety about it. I actually graduated from online college in 2018 and I enjoyed my overall 5 year experience of attending online college. I figured I would share with you all some personal tips that I learned from going to school online.
I hope that they are beneficial to you and help you within going to college online.
Top 10 Must Know Online College Tips from a College Online Graduate
Designate a space to do your homework.
I started off doing my homework in the most relaxing spots of my home which was a huge no-no. I ended up either watching tv or falling asleep so many times only to have to rush and complete assignments. Don’t do what I did. Have a specific area setup where there are no distractions for you. I recommend either having an area where you have a desk where you can do your work. You can also purchase a tray table and place it against a wall. Then you can place your laptop on it and sit in a chair. I actually did this in my senior year and it helped me stay focused as well as get my work done much quicker.
Here is one I recommend:
You can also buy a foldable desk.
This desk is under $100.
Create a file folder for each class.
One mistake I made when I was going to college online was having maybe 2 file folders in my Documents for about 5 different classes. It became kind of complicated trying to keep up with everything so make sure to keep yourself organized so that you know where all of your assignments are.
Learn how to properly use Blackboard.
Take time out to learn the Blackboard platform. Figure out where everything is like your syllabus, how to find the classes you’re taking, where your assignments are, where your grades will be posted, and the discussion board.
Learn about the resources available to you on Blackboard.
When you go to school online, there are a variety of helpful resources you can use. Usually when a college has Blackboard they have online tutors or essay reviewers that can help you with your assignments.
You can use credible Youtube videos as a reference.
Find interviews or documentaries by educational resources. I know sometimes I would even refer to TedTalks for certain discussions in class.
Look for online text book versions that you can rent instead of buying a physical textbook.
I went to Baker College online and they gave me the option through their online Barnes & Noble store to buy the physical textbooks for my classes or to rent them. It was much cheaper and it was actually easy to use. I will say that I’ve always been a person that preferred physical books, but the option of digitally reading a book was less costly.
You can also try searching for your textbook on eBay. I ended up finding some of my textbooks on eBay for 40% of the original price which was very helpful within saving money.
Make sure you pay attention to what is due at least a week in advance.
When I first started going to school online, I didn’t really focus on due dates as much as I should have and a lot of times I assumed. Take time out to jot down when assignments are due in a planner or your phone to keep track of everything. It’s life changing to put alarms in your phone a day before assignments are due. That’s how I was able to stay on top of my homework.
Usually when you go to college online, you will have a log in for an online library.
The online library was one of the best things that got me through college online. You should be able to log in and find peer reviews that you can use to reference in your essays. Find out what your log in is and start researching to complete your assignments. The online library is available until you graduate from college for the most part.
Taking tests online are much easier.
So one thing that might be flawed within going to college online is how most of your exams are basically open book for the most part. I could easily read up on the answers or search for the answers online unless I was doing something like a written essay answer test or Algebra/Calculus/Accounting.
Always participate in the weekly discussion boards.
I want to say that most of my classes required students to post in the discussion boards at least 5 days out of the week. I think in total every week I had about 8-10 posts that I made where I either answered a question my professor asked or I had responded to another classmate’s response. It was a requirement to add some sort of value that encouraged more thought or conversation. We also had to add references as well. Usually my posts were at least 5 sentences long. Sometimes your teacher will share with you what the minimum amount of sentences is for it to be considered as participation.
Overall, these online college tips will be very helpful within being a student online. I hope you guys are staying healthy and positive during this time.
Also check out my more in depth blog post 24 Tips for Taking Online Classes | I Went to College Online.
RELATED: 6 Things I Learned When I Went to College Online
Check out What I Wish Someone Told Me BEFORE Taking Online Classes and The Online College Student’s Guide to Success: Tips, Tools, and Resources for more helpful information.
If you have any other questions or thoughts about my online college experience, feel free to leave a comment down below.
Thanks for reading!
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