Ray Schroeder’s Twitter Chat – July 31, 2014
Before Starting Your Online Class
- Make good decisions about which class to take. Start off with a course that will help you adjust to learning online if this is your first time using an online platform. Look at all the offerings from your chosen institution.
- Be realistic about the number of classes you can successfully complete.
- Read, save, and print the course syllabus. Understand and ask for clarification for anything you don’t understand.
- Understand if there are synchronous or face-to-face requirements for the course.
- Understand the weekly deadlines and the major project deadlines for the course.
- Tell your family and friends about your online class. Discuss the challenges with them. Ask for support.
Manage Your Time Effectively
- Make learning a priority. Be in the classroom as much as possible. Perhaps daily or every other day, but plan on being online and “present” in the classroom regularly.
- Schedule your time visually through your phone or your tablet, or on a wall calendar.
- Remember that you need time for reading, writing, reflecting, posting, and perhaps working with groups using either synchronous or asynchronous technologies.
- Create a schedule with EVERYTHING listed including social events, work schedules, and family responsibilities. Then, add the time that you will need to successfully complete your class work including weekly and major project deadlines. Google Calendar is one option.
- Typically, students spend 3-4 hours per week to complete course work related to 1 credit hour. So a 3 credit hour course might require 9 – 12 hours of reading, writing, and posting each week.
Understand the Technology
- Take advantage of technology training that might be available. At UIS Lynda.com and Atomic Learning are both available to all students and faculty to assist with learning new software.
- Get a cloud storage account. UIS provides 50GB of storage for each student through a BOX cloud storage account.
Be a Part of the Class & Campus Community
- Get to know the other students in your class and connect with your campus.
- If you campus has an online student group or blogs, consider becoming active in the group.
- Get to know your instructors and the administrators at your campus.
- Schedule a telephone conference with your instructor if needed to clarify any areas of the syllabus or complicated content in the course.
- Find ways to promote active and positive dialogue through your discussion postings. Always use words (not shortcuts) and type text in standard written format with punctuation and appropriate capitalization. Make sure your writing can be understood. Proof your post before hitting submit!
- Use positive language to state your point without using the standard “I agree or I disagree” approach. Clarify what you are agreeing or disagreeing with and why.
- Use language and an approach that is non-confrontational and respects the opinions and perspectives others in the courseroom.
Reflect on the Learning
- Reflect on what you have learned.
- Reconnect with others in the course that you have formed friendships with.
- Look forward to your next online learning experience.
- Celebrate your accomplishments. Attend special events that celebrate the completion of online programs or commencement exercises.
Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning