With rapid advancement in technology, online classes have increasingly gained dominance over the traditional courses. Most students prefer taking online classes than ever before due to its flexibility as well as convenience because the majority of them are busy with other responsibilities among them being employment. Equally, institutions of higher learning have invested heavily into this mode of learning and the majority of these institutions in the US have already rolled out online classes. Grantham University is one of these institutions that have adopted and invested heavily in online classes. For someone to be successful as an online student, it will take proper planning in terms of having a schedule, establishing a good and working relationship with instructors, proper utilization of available resources, and active participation in class with other students as well as paying attention to calendar and deadlines.
To start with, establishing a proper schedule on how to study and complete coursework is a critical success factor in online classes. A good schedule will help the student avoid procrastination in doing the coursework and other activities related to the course. Almost all of the courses offered at Grantham University have weekly activities that must be completed to earn points for the final grade. Such coursework includes weekly discussions, assignments and at times presentations. Without a proper schedule, the student can easily become forgetful and lose essential points that will negatively affect the final grade for the course.
Another key success factor for online classes is establishing a good relationship with the instructor or professor moderating the online course. One of the possibilities in online classes is that there is a likelihood of some students remaining dormant and unknown. There are numerous channels that can be used to reach out to the instructor such as message boards, academic emails as well as forums chat. In addition, asking questions and clarification on course concepts would go a long way in establishing a much-needed relationship. This kind of relationship can be helpful to a student under challenging situations such as emergencies or in calamities that affects submission of course work. For instance, it becomes easy for the professor to understand the student with whom they have a relationship and offer assistance such as an extension of the deadline.
The next success factor crucial for online students is the proper utilization of the available resources. Ordinarily, course instructor provides class materials such as readings, notes, video and simulation that help the student grasp the course concepts more easily. In addition, there are more important resources provided by Grantham University such as the online library and community forums. Grantham online library enables the student to study by providing resources such as scholarly journal articles and textbooks that help them in research. On the other hand, community forums help students to shares with the current and former students on the experiences they have encountered while studying the online courses. Consequently, the students are aware of the main challenges to face while taking the classes.
Similarly, paying attention to the calendar and deadline of coursework helps the students to be successful in their classes because they avoid losing grade points through lateness and exam link expiration. Since the course is conducted entirely online, and there is no monitoring common in traditional classes, students may tend to forget deadlines as well as exam due time. Such behaviors are normal and common among the online classes’ students. To triumph over this setback, students need to be diligent and stay on top of their coursework and be turning their class assignments on time.
Also, active participation in class together with other members plays a significant role in ensuring the success of online class students. Through participation in class discussion forums, the student achieves to share ideas and learn from each other. Although online classes are known to offer flexibility, it should not be interpreted to encourage laziness among the students. Tu and Marina (p.135) state that the students must participate in class effectively to achieve better results. Therefore, participative students will more likely succeed in their online courses.
In conclusion, online classes offer the flexibility and convenience necessary for the majority of Americans who do schooling alongside employment. However, this system has its equal share of challenges as well. Grantham University is one of the many American institutions of higher learning that offers online classes. For one to become a successful online college student, there is need to have serious commitments, proper schedule of study, establish a good relationship with the professor moderating the course, use of available resources as well as adherence to calendar and deadlines. It is crucial for students to be diligent in undertaking online classes.
Tu, Chih-Hsiung, and Marina McIsaac. “The relationship of social presence and interaction in online classes.” The American journal of distance education 16.3 (2002): 131-150.