Online Learning is an interesting and exciting way to learn new material in a less structured approach.
When it comes to managing your study time, plan on being self‐disciplined and self‐motivated.
Online courses offer students convenient access to courses and flexibility in their schedule, but in order to succeed as an online student you must be self‐disciplined and self‐motivated. You won't have the benefit of regularly scheduled, face‐to‐face class meetings to keep you motivated and on track.
Be prepared to complete most of your online course work in written form.
Are you comfortable communicating in writing? Chances are that most of your online course work will be done in written form. Online courses often use text‐based discussion boards, chat and e‐mail for communication.
Be prepared to receive most of your online course materials in written form.
Are you a patient and methodical reader? In order to succeed online you should be able to read and process the written course material carefully and thoroughly.
Plan on devoting more time to your online course than you would to a face‐to‐face course.
Be prepared to log on to your course site everyday in order to stay current with the course materials and activities. It's not unusual for students to devote more time to online courses than they would to face‐to‐face courses.
Make sure you are comfortable using the required technology for your course or else be prepared to acquire new technology skills.
Are you comfortable using a web browser, the Blackboard course management system and word processing software? If not, be prepared to learn how to use these and any other required tools on your own. A great place to start is is the Blackboard Tutorial section provided in the Orientation to Online Learning.
Make sure you have all the necessary hardware and software in place before your course begins.
Before you begin your online course, make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements posted on the WKU Online website. Check the Technology Requirements section to view configuration recommendations. You'll also need to make sure you have a reliable Internet connection, DSL or Cable internet is recommended.
Be prepared to ask for help if you are having difficulties.
If you are having difficulties with the course, let your instructor know immediately. If you experience technical problems, contact the WKU Help Desk immediately at email@example.com or call 270‐745‐7000. ‐ Gilbert, S. D. (2001). How to be a Successful Online Student. New York: McGraw‐Hill.
"Online courses are easier and less work than regular classroom courses." Not true!
Most require as much work or more than a face‐to‐face course. For example, if you plan to take a math course via online learning because you are not good at math, you are making the wrong choice!
"I won't have to come to campus at all if I take an online course."
Most online courses do not require any face‐to‐face meetings, but some do require proctored exams. If proctored exams are required, you will be required to come to the Distance Learning Testing Centers (DLTC) or an approved testing location in your area. If proctored exams are required please visit www.wku.edu/testing to schedule your exam.
"I'm alone in this. I won't have any contact with an instructor or other students."
"An online course means independent study with no schedule."