The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

DL staffer tells how to make online work

By Sabrina Carrington/reporter

As online classes become more popular, students are starting to wonder if they have what it takes to be successful, a distance learning coordinator said last week.

Cherie Johnson of the distance learning center presented Surviving and Thriving in Your Online Course Sept. 12 as part of the NW Campus Student Success Days.

“ There are many characteristics a student needs to do well in an online environment,” she said.
As an instructor of online classes, Johnson knows students need to be independent learners, have solid reading and comprehension skills and be self-motivated.

“ Because there is no face-to-face interaction with an instructor, students must be prepared to read every lesson the instructor puts on the class site, take notes and contact the instructor with any questions,” she said.

Johnson said students should be prepared to do some research.

“ Before you even register for the class, check the class requirements,” she said.

On the distance learning Web site, students will find important information such as orientation schedules, required materials and possible testing locations.

“ Strong time management skills are a must,” she said. “Read the syllabus and complete your orientation as soon as you log into your course. Check your deadlines carefully and plan accordingly.”

Students should be prepared for various required activities, such as discussion board posts, chat room sessions, team projects and campus visits, Johnson said.

Students also need to set aside time to check their distance learning e-mail frequently.

“ Log into your class everyday and participate,” she said. “Interact with your instructor and other classmates.”

Johnson said it is also important to know where to get help. The distance learning staff is available to answer general questions about the course.

“ If you can’t remember the room number where your class is supposed to meet your instructor, they will be able to tell you,” she said.

The distance learning staff will not be able to answer questions about class requirements and/or assignments. For that type of information, students need to contact the instructor directly.

Johnson said some students sign up for online classes with the idea they are easier than traditional classes.

“ You will have to work just as hard, if not harder,” she said.

However, students should not be discouraged, Johnson said.

“ Follow these keys to success and you will do well, but don’t forget to have fun.”

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