Friday, March 15, 2013

Online schools are great because they open up higher education to people that don’t have time to go to traditional classes on campus. However, it takes a certain mentality and drive to excel as an online student. So, here are four traits you should learn before starting an online degree program.



Organizational Skills: To Stay on Top of the Course Work


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Online students have to be self-motivated and organized to be successful. You can do this by using a planner to keep track of all your assignments and due dates. Then, you have to time manage your projects and assignments so they are always done early. Procrastination is not an option for online students because it becomes too easy to get behind. 

Organizational skills also include checking your email daily to look for messages from your teacher or other students. You should also check for updates and announcements regularly on the classroom website or portal to keep your schedule up to date and organized.



Studying Skills: To Learn the Material Independently and Do Better on Tests


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Taking an online course doesn’t mean it will be any easier than taking a course at a physical location. This means you will still have to put in 10-15 hours of study time each week. So, to be a good online student, you have to be committed to studying and doing your work independently. Good students read all of the required material and attend study sessions, too.



Written Communication Skills: To Ask Questions and Get Help


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Online students also need to have good written communication skills because most of the communication is done through writing. It’s important to pay attention to grammar and spelling when contacting your teacher or posting a response to a discussion online because it can affect your grade. 

Written communication skills are also important so you can get the help you need. Don’t be afraid to contact your instructor, he or she is there to help you understand the course work and direct your learning. Feel free to send your instructor an email with any of your questions, just be careful to clearly state your questions and concerns in a respectful way.



Computer Skills: To Submit Work and Participate in Online Discussions


Image via Flickr by kchichester
Younger people don’t typically have problems navigating computers, so they are able to do well in online courses. However, if you are uncomfortable using the Internet or computers, online courses might not be for you. Before taking an online course, you should be comfortable with all Internet functions and fully capable of using email and other forms of online communication, like chat and forums.
Many older people decide to take online courses because they don’t have time to go to a class because of their work schedule and other things going on in their life. However, they neglect to realize that online courses present unique challenges for people that are not comfortable using the Internet. If you fit into this category, you may want to take a computer skills class before taking an online course.
If you want to be an online student, you should get started by looking at the programs available on Getarealdegree.com. Do you have the skills and traits it takes to be a great online student?

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