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Read the course syllabus and information thoroughly, and get acquainted with navigating your course site. Ensure that you have the required course materials and technical requirements so that you will not be delayed later on. Get a feel for the course so that you can make decisions as to whether you can complete the course on time.
Create or use an electronic calendar (most course sites have a built in calendar). You may use the electronic calendar in your myU portal or your personal Google calendar or other such calendar. Set reminders and deadlines for assignments and exams.
Make a study schedule. Set aside time to "attend" class and have regular study times. Online courses have the advantage of being flexible with time and space; however they require a lot of discipline and commitment. Some online courses may have deadlines for assignments but others may not. Set goals for the week to help you stay on track.
Be aware that some of your online courses may require real time/synchronous meetings (where you connect with your instructor and peers live). Find out whether you have such meetings and schedule your day accordingly. Be aware of the time differences, if you are located in a different time zone. You may use your phone or search online for time zones to avoid any confusion.
Communicate with your instructor frequently and ask questions before you start falling behind.
Communicate with class peers, if the option exists; use class discussion forums and email to communicate with class peers. Building a class community can enhance your learning experience. Peers can inspire and motivate you!
Be aware of all the student support resources and services that are available. Make use of them when needed or appropriate.
Tips and Ideas from Online Students
UMD Continuing Education