Getting a degree online is a great way for busy adults to pursue continuing education. Some of the most prestigious schools like Stanford University offer top-tier online degree programs for less cost and more diverse course and major options. However, when it comes to online colleges, there are more than a few pitfalls to be aware of. It can be easy to fall behind or lose motivation when you’re not in a traditional classroom setting. Read on to learn more about getting the most out of your online education:
Participate in Class Discussions
As in any classroom situation, participating is a great to get the most out of your education. When you’re taking classes online, it can be hard to engage with fellow classmates in the same way. Most online classes will offer a forum on the course web page where students can talk about assignments and group projects. Make sure you make the most of these forums and try to find a time to meet up face-to-face with some of the other students at least once a week. This can be a great way to make new friends while staying on the same page with collaborative projects and study groups.
Establish a Relationship with Professors
Not being able to attend class and ask questions can be a hard aspect of pursuing an online education. However, many teachers are easily accessible through email and office hours. Starting a one-on-one conversation with a professor builds a rapport and creates a less intimidating space for you to ask questions and get deeper into the material. Establishing a relationship with your professors is a great way to get the most out of your education. It will also go a long way in terms of getting recommendations for jobs and internships after you graduate.
Go the Extra Mile
Your education depends on you taking initiative and not being afraid to go out on a limb. Don’t be afraid to take on extracurricular work, special credit assignments, or suggested reading. On many course web sites, a professor will link to articles and books that aren’t specifically assigned for the class but are helpful for further study. Sometimes the most illuminating materials can be found outside of the classroom. Seek out other texts related to your assigned material and take it from there. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn when you focus on thinking outside the box.
Set Goals for Yourself
Perhaps the most important aspect of a remote education is making sure you hold yourself to a certain standard. When taking online courses, it can be easy to slack off or lose interest. If you go out of your way to set specific learning-based goals, you’ll be holding yourself accountable in a way that’s far less easy to back out of. Once you’ve met one goal, you should set another, slightly more challenging one. If you manage to accomplish one new goal per week, you’ll be setting a new standard for your online education.