Can you relate?You’ve received a lot of information so far. You’re excited and pumped up, but maybe a little overwhelmed?
So, where do we begin?
It all begins with you. Afterall, you know you best. You know your good habits and the areas where you need some improvement.For example, does scheduling your time come naturally to you? Are you a fast or slow reader? How do you learn best?Only you can answer these questions. If you are honest with yourself, then that’s the best start.[Ask how many have taken blended classes or an online program.]Now, let’s looks at some areas to explore.
Not the final frontier with planets and stars, but …
…your physical space. Your classroom at home.When you are in a classroom like this, there is natural order. The instructor comes in, people quiet down, and we remain focused and alert to the best of our abilities.You need to create this at home.
Think about where you can do your reading.Where you can hold your online lectures – your live, Elluminate sessions.A coffee shop is loud and busy.A library is quiet, but can you find a study room where you can talk?Your bedroom can be private, but can you remain disciplined?Your home classroom should have the qualities above. Most of all, it should be as consistent as possible and should support your learning.Set aside the space. And honor it.
We have people in our lives. Family. Friends. Classmates. Co-workers.We not only need to respect our space, but we have to ask our relationships to respect it, too.When class begins, you need as much uninterrupted time as possible.So, communication and partnership is key. Involve these relationships in the success of your program. Ask family to honor your study or class time. Get them involved when appropriate – they have gifts they may be able to offer. The biggest gift is support.Now, it’s not a one-way relationship. We all make sacrifices, so there may be bargains you need to keep. If your partner sets aside an area of the home for your classroom, you need to be grateful and communication your appreciation.
The next big area is time. To be honest, this is where most students struggle in an online program.You need to be aware of this and conscious.Your enemy from this point forward are the following words:
“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.”There’s a reason this saying is still around…So, what can we do about it?
Plan for it!Your professors tell you the schedule in the syllabus – give you key dates for assignments and tell you what you need to do to be successful. Read this and lay it all out. Don’t be taken by surprise –KNOW what’s required of youPLAN ahead of timeDO by following through with your time schedule
The first tip should be self-explanatory. Don’t paint yourself into a corner – give yourself time.If you are unfamiliar with some of this technology, plan for this. Give yourself extra time. And remember, sometimes home Internet has problems. Have your backup plan and give yourself extra time. If you need to race to Starbucks or the library because your home connection is having problems, have this contingency planned ahead of time.The last items is key. You are not alone. You have technology – whether Elluminate or Skype – to connect with your classmates! If you ever had a study hall in school or college, why not schedule a virtual study hall. Just having another human being online – even if not talking, just a presence – can be helpful. And you can dialogue – what do you think about page 17 of the reading? Do you agree? Engage with the work and your colleagues.Just as your family is on your team, your classmates are also on your team.Just pay attention to the requirements of your assignments and projects. Not all projects are team projects. That doesn’t mean that the online study hall is inappropriate, it’s just that you can write each other’s work, okay? You can simply “be there” for one another as a motivator, if necessary.
Basic formula for time management
Do you have everything you need?
Microsoft Office that can read .DOCX.Office 2007 or 2010 for PC.Office 2008 or 2011 for Mac.If you have an earlier version – you need to buy the latest version.Pepperdine Computer Store offers Office at only $49.99.
Comm = CommunicationCritical in life, critical in class. Critical for success!
Keep in touch with your class requirements and messages from faculty and classmates
Know how to contact your professors and your classmates in case of emergency.
Prompts:If you send an email to a professor at 2 AM, what is a reasonable expectation
There is work involved, but if you are passionate about this, Find the joy in what you do!
Comm• Check email frequently• Visit Courses frequently• Get phone and email addresses• Help Desk!
Expectations • This is new… • Check prof. communication guidelines • Feedback is not instantaneous • Share your expert knowledge • Be on time • All communication should be purposeful and meaningful (quality over quantity)
Etiquette• Be on time• Be respectful and kind• AVOID ALL CAPS• You’re talking to a fellow human being, just using technology to do it… (use same standards as a F2F class)• Use emoticons to help express intent• Be forgiving of others and yourself
More… • Read before you send • Use spelckehk spellcheck • Verify recipients • Save, save, save • The right tool for the right job