Characteristics of Online Learning Success (COOLS)
1. Due to evolving technologies, it is imperative that your computer be up-to-date prior to getting started in your online course(s). While tablets and smartphones allow for convenient access to the Internet, you should use an up-to-date computer when taking online courses.
2. If you intend to work off-campus, you must have a reliable Internet connection when taking an online course. By reliable, we mean that you do not get kicked off line when working. This is mostly an issue for dial-up connections. Generally, cable and DSL experience less drops. If you do not have a reliable Internet connection, you can come to campus and use the computers in the TRC upstairs in the Library or you can come by D-210 (by appointment) to take your tests.
3. In an online environment, the ability to work and learn independently is vital to your success. Generally, you have limited contact with the other students in your class, and you communicate with your instructor mostly by email. It is totally up to you to keep up in the class just as you would in a face-to-face class.
4. Good time management skills are necessary for success in an online course. For more information on time management, please visit http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm.
5. Email is the primary form of communication in an online course. If you do not know how to send and receive email, please visit http://www.learnthenet.com/english/section/email.htmlfor more information.
6. To learn more about adding attachments to email, please visit http://www.learnthenet.com/english/html/23attach.htm.
7. Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, allows users to create and manipulate text documents. This widely used type of software will also permit users to insert images and, in some cases, video and audio clips. This tool can be used for any type of written activity. For more information on word processing, please visit http://malektips.com/microsoft_word_2003_help_and_tips.html.
8. If you would like more information on managing files on your computer, please visit http://www.utexas.edu/learn/manage/index.html.
9. To learn more about downloading and installing software, please visit
10. To learn more about copying and pasting text, please visit
11. For more information on using discussion boards, please visit http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/handbook/discussionboards/.
12. You should be comfortable communicating through writing and/or typing. To further develop your communication skills, please visit http://www.mindtools.com/page8.html.
13. To find out more about taking responsibility for your learning, please visit http://astro.wku.edu/gelderman/success.html.
14. For tips on self-motivation and self-discipline, please visit http://www.more-selfesteem.com/self_motivation.htm.
15. You must commit to keeping in contact with your instructor throughout the duration of your course. Instructors have the ability to see who has been online, when they have been online, and the areas of Blackboard that were visited. If you experience a problem in your online course, do not just forget about the course. Like a face-to-face class, attendance is monitored. Failure to visit your course(s) on Blackboard on a regular basis could lead to suspension by the instructor.
16. An online course should be treated as any face-to-face class when considering the amount of time spent on the course. You should plan to spend anywhere from 10-15 hours per week per course to complete assignments and exams. It is a misnomer that online courses are easier than face-to-face courses. In fact, most students feel that online courses are more difficult due to the lack of interaction with other students and the inability for one-on-one consultation with the instructor after class.
17. You must commit to keeping in contact with your instructor throughout the duration of your course. Instructors have the ability to see who has been online, when they have been online, and the areas of Blackboard that were visited. If you experience a problem in your online course, do not just forget about the course. Like a face-to-face class, attendance is monitored. Failure to visit your course(s) on Blackboard on a regular basis could lead to suspension by the instructor.
18. Problem-solving and decision making skills are essential for success in an online course. For more information on these skills, please visit http://www.studygs.net/problem/index.htm.
19. To succeed in an online course, it is important to understand the importance of setting goals and working to achieve them. To learn more about setting goals and achieving them, please visit http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html.
20. As for the online environment, it is easy to be intimidated by this type of course delivery. The best thing you can do to insure your success in your online course(s) is to first complete Blackboard Orientation at this site http://web.bpcc.edu/blackboard/orientation/index.html. This orientation will provide you with valuable tips and guidance to better prepare you for your online classroom experience. Once your classes have been activated, seek out the Course Section Information Sheet (CSIS) and/or course Syllabus for each of your online courses. These documents should contain all the information you need to get started in the particular class.
21. Don’t give up so easily. There are numerous resources to help you overcome any obstacles you may encounter in your online course(s). If you’re experiencing Blackboard technical issues, you can call 678-6023 on Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. You can get 24/7 support by visiting https://chat.perceptis.com/c/lctcs/.
22. As with any course, high-quality learning begins with the student. Be it face-to-face or online, you still have assignments, exams, due dates, and other projects. It is the matter of communication that stands out mostly between the two methods. In a face-to-face class, you have the opportunity to meet with the instructor after class. In an online course, meeting with the instructor usually takes place by email, but you may set up an appointment and meet with your instructor face-to-face.
23. It is imperative that you have a place to study that is free from distraction whether it is one room set aside in the house, a study carrel in the library, or at a table in the park. Unplug the phone, turn off the TV, and make sure the kids have something to do that doesn't involve you.
24. Good reading comprehension skills are needed for success in an online course. It is important that you read all the information provided for your course(s) and understand it thoroughly. For more information on reading comprehension, please visit http://www.readingcomprehensionconnection.com/reading_lesson.html.
25. Procrastination and online courses do not mix well. You must be willing to login to your course regularly and keep abreast of the announcements, assignments, etc. To find out how to begin kicking the procrastination habit, please visit http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm.