Tips for Success

10 Keys to Success as a Distance Learner

  1. Comfort with technology. If you feel like you're deficient in this area, consider taking a class (CSCI 1001 Computer Fundamentals and/or CSCI-1101 Computer Concepts & Apps ) specifically to learn about computers before you launch into a distance course.
  2. A realistic, well-planned schedule, allowing time for operating hardware and software in addition to time spent on the content of the course.
  3. Opportunities to have interaction with your instructor and with other learners.
  4. You will be most successful if you are a good independent learner, but alone shouldn't mean unsupported.
  5. Independence and self-confidence.
  6. High expectations for yourself - this will help you persevere and maintain motivation throughout your experience with a distance course.
  7. Frequent communication with your instructor.
  8. Comfort with e-mail and written communication.
  9. Confidence that learning at a distance is as effective as traditional learning formats.
  10. Willingness to experiment with ways to overcome physical distance.

It is very easy to fall behind or feel lost throughout the term. Below are a few tips from students who have completed distance learning courses:

"Plan a schedule and stick with it."
"Work ahead - act like each due date is actually two days earlier."
"When taking tests online, make sure you aren't disturbed or interrupted. Also, make sure your computer doesn't disconnect during the test."
"Give yourself more time to complete the assignments and do the reading than you think you need."
"When you are stuck or confused - ask the instructor questions!"
"Pretend like you ARE going to class - set aside time blocks where you can sit down and concentrate on the material."
"Stay organized!"
"Write down notes off of the online lectures (even the written ones) just like you would in a normal class. It helps with retention and understanding."
"Participate in class discussion boards and chats if you can - it makes you feel more connected."
"Don't get behind - stay motivated!"
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