For the Online Adult Learner
by Jennifer Dyer original article
You can pursue a college degree or professional certificate at home, at sea, or from a remote duty station with online education. The virtual classroom allows returning students to balance their studies with career and family. While successful e-learning requires self-discipline, distance education can work if you have the right technological know-how and e-savvy study skills.
Students must be comfortable with course technology when education takes place in cyberspace.
- Whether course content is delivered by Internet, video, audio, or print, test all class components before the term starts.
- Know where to get technical support.
- Keep hard copies of course materials in a binder, including lectures, exams, office hours, and discussion groups.
- Find a quiet space and tell roommates not to interrupt. Study at night or get childcare if you need it.
- When you're in your virtual classroom, act like it. Ignore everything outside of class, and don't get sidetracked.
- Order textbooks in advance and survey course material before classes begin.
Effective time management can make the difference between success and failure when you juggle education with family and work.
- Plan regular periods throughout the week for your coursework. Commit to this schedule as if you were attending an actual class.
- Develop a course study plan. List assignments and deadlines on a calendar and check them off as you complete them. Don't procrastinate.
- Distance courses take as much time as regular classes. Plan to study two hours weekly per credit. Never enroll in more courses than you can handle.
- Create a "to do" list that prioritizes tasks according to need: A for today, B for next week, and C for later. Learn to say no to other requests for your time.
Distance learners need to adapt traditional study habits and develop good study skills designed for online learning.
- Follow a regular study schedule that includes short breaks to reenergize.
- Use an effective study system to process course information.
- Participate regularly to enhance learning. Stay in touch with your professors, use discussion boards, and join a study group.
- Learning independently doesn't mean that you're alone. Ask for help when you need it.
Family and Work Matters
- Lighten your load by arranging in advance to reduce work responsibilities or share housework.
- Set aside two hours every weekend to spend with loved ones and friends.
- Be flexible, but plan ahead. A work deadline may make cramming for an exam
With distance education, your dream is only a mouse click away.
We can help...
Contact us with your questions, concerns or suggestions by e-mail at eLearning@savannahstate.edu or 912-358-4161, or stop by our office in the Colston Administration Building on the SSU campus.