How to Prepare for Your First Online Semester
If you’ve never taken an online course before you couldn’t be blamed for feeling a little nervous when the time comes to start. However, once you get going you’ll find those nerves will fade away and leave you with feelings of freedom and independence. But there are some things you can do now to get ready for your new undertaking. To help you out, we’ve put together some pointers on how to prepare for your first online semester.
Assess Your Technological Needs
Making sure you have the proper gear and bandwidth to be able to access your online course is probably the most important preparation you can make. After all, if you can’t connect online, any other preparations will be for nought. Make sure to carefully read the technical specifications you need to access the courses and take advantage of any verification tests provided by the school before the semester actually begins.
Analyze Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Obviously, online learning will be different than what occurs in a traditional classroom. For some students these differences allow them to learn more easily. If that’s the case for you, then everything should be fine. But you should critically analyze how you learn best and compare that with what your online course offers. If you have problems with procrastination, working independently or learning without constant interaction you may need to make up for these limitations in other ways. Be honest with yourself and figure out how you can turn your weaknesses into strengths.
Set Up Your Personal Study Environment
One of the benefits of online learning is that you can do it anywhere that you have access to a computer and the internet. That said, creating a study environment that plays to your strengths before you start the course will get you off on the right foot. Maybe you learn better if you’re listening to music. Then you should have your playlists ready to go so you’re not spending all your study time fiddling with Spotify. How do you best keep track of all your assignments? Would purchasing a calendar serve you better or should you set up a spreadsheet before the term starts? Having all your learning tools prepared before the course begins help you stay organized throughout the term.