Education has always been of paramount importance in my life. People can take many things away from you, however your education is not one of them. As an adult, I went back for additional college credit online learning via web classes, have taken Stanford free online courses, as well as MIT free online courses.
Distance education is a bonus for many people who can’t sit in a traditional classroom. For me, it was a way to take classes I needed to finish my college degree while parenting and running a business.
While it seems like it would be easier taking online courses, they are more difficult to stay on top of and complete. If classes are independent study with no instruction time from the professor, it’s even more difficult.
Looking back on taking over two years of web classes at my online community college, I realize it took a set of rules I developed in order to be successful. I was a mother, running a business, with a young child at home. It all came down to organization and a list of essentials to keep me on track.
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Had I not been organized, no matter how smart I am I wouldn’t have maintained a 4.0 GPA. That number pushed me to excel and deal my own procrastination.
1. Use your calendar. Tracking deadlines is essential. Makes notes on the days leading up to the assignment due date that it’s due in xx amount of days.
2. Keep a binder. I printed my syllabus and assignments and put them in a three-ring binder. I carried them with me and was able to study as I found time.
3. Check in every day. The Blackboard portal is the brains of the operation and where your assignments, and assignment changes, live.
4. Speak up. Are you having difficulty? Set up an appointment with your professor. Many have office hours on campus. Many distance educators have times set up to discuss issues with you via Skype.
5. Study. Study three hours per credit hour. If your class meets two days a week and it’s four credit hours, you need to study 12 hours per week for that class. This is why college freshmen are advised not to take more than 12 credit hours when starting their collegiate career.
6. Do not procrastinate. Stay on top of your classes. Once you’ve stayed up 48 hours to finish a research paper, you’ll turn in a paper that wasn’t written to the best of your ability.
Distance education is a bonus for many people who can’t sit in a traditional classroom. For me, it was a way to take classes I needed towards finishing my college degree while parenting and running a business.
By modifying how I approached my classes, I successfully maintained goals I set for myself and accomplished them easily.
Lisa Frame is a freelance writer and Social Media Marketing Analyst living in Charlotte, NC. You can keep up with her on her blog, A Daily Pinch.