Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when preparing to be successful in an online course:
Treat online learning as you would a face-to-face class
You should plan to devote at least the same amount of time to your online courses as you would to attending lectures on campus and completing assignments. Other good study habits, such as attending class (logging on) regularly and taking notes, are just as important in an online course as they are in a lecture hall!
Intentionally schedule your time
You should plan to devote 8-12 hours per week to completing lesson readings and assignments. Your learning will be most effective when you spread this participation out and engage with the course on a daily basis, if possible.
Engage, Engage, Engage!
Take every opportunity to interact with the content, the instructor, and your classmates by completing assignments and participating in discussion forums and group activities! This is particularly important for the ongoing Yellowdig discussion board, which awards points for each post and response.
Keep in sync with what's going on in the course and stay on top of deadlines and upcoming assignments. You can view all due dates in the Home page on Canvas, as well as in the Canvas course calendar.
Pay Attention to Rubrics and Assignment Descriptions
I use rubrics for almost all non-quiz assignments. They tell you exactly what I am looking for and how much each element is weighed. It is essential that you look at the rubrics to make sure you are addressing everything that you need to address.
In a related note, I provide specific instructions for assignments. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and address all of the aspects that you must address. As you will see, just addressing each aspect is half the battle! I know this is very basic advice, but I can't tell you how many times students in this course lost points (sometimes significant amounts) because they simply did not address what they were told to address. If you need clarification on this for specific assignments, please let me know.
Start your assignments well ahead of time
I am very happy to provide reasonable assistance on assignments, but am not always available at the last minute. Lessons and Activities will usually be opened up at least two weeks in advance. Start as early as you can to leave time for questions and other unforseen circumstances.
Ask for help!
Ask for guidance when you are in need of clarification. Again, if possible use the HAVE A QUESTION? Ask it Here discussion forum to ask general questions about the course set-up or content.
The links below will connect you with other resources to help support your successful online learning experience:
This website provides links to many resources on everything from taking notes online to managing your time effectively. Please note that you must be a World Campus student to receive some of the support services mentioned on this website.
This blog features posts by Penn State staff and students on a wide variety of topics relevant to online learning. Learn from online students and alumni, as well as staff members dedicated to student success, how you can get the most out of your online course experience.
The iStudy online learning tutorials are free and available to all Penn State students. They cover a broad range of topics including online learning readiness, time management, stress management and statistics - among many others. Check out the extensive list of topics for yourself to see what topics may be of most use to you!
This website provides access to an extensive free online training library, with tutorials on everything from creating presentations to using mobile apps for education, including Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. There is a wealth of information here - all provided free of charge to Penn State faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students. It also has tips on improving your professionalism, networking skills, and more.