Distance education has opened the doors for countless students who could never have attended a traditional university or college before. It is truly a huge step forward that was unimaginable just a few years ago.
The problem is that many distance learning students fail despite this great opportunity. The fact is that they can make it work, and get their degree, if they follow some simple, yet powerful rules. Let’s get right to them.
1. Schedule day(s) and times(s) each week to do your online classes and classwork. And keep to that schedule!
If you can’t schedule that on a regular basis each week, then plan that on a weekly basis. Many students fail because the freedom of not having a hard schedule to follow often results in them never getting around to doing what’s needed.
Don’t just have your class day/time in mind – WRITE IT DOWN. On your planner, on your calendar, somewhere you’l see it often every single day. Even better – schedule reminders for yourself, either electronically or ask a reliable friend or family member to nudge you often when you don’t feel like doing what you should.
2. Do your assigned work as soon as you get it or at least as soon as possible.
Some professors allow you to turn in assignments any time before the semester end. That can give you a false sense of security because it can make you feel like you have plenty of time.
Too many distance learning students put off their assignments again and again, then find themselves with a pile of work to complete with a week left. Don’t put yourself in that position.
Treat those homework and class assignments as seriously as you would traditional classroom work. If you lose this battle, you just might end up failing the class and that’s your money wasted. Do your homework as soon as you possibly can.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or form relationships with fellow students.
Many distance learning students are slow to talk to their professors or ask questions they’d normally ask in class or during office hours. The web format and environment should not deter you from getting the answers or help you need.
Getting to know others who are learning with you is often a crucial way to stay engaged. Having that accountability and the resource of your fellow students to draw on will pay off. It just might be the key to getting you across the finish line of your degree online.
Don’t be reluctant to reach and connect with your teachers and classmates. The teacher expects students will contact them and your fellow students are often feeling the same worries as you do. They will welcome your offers of mutual support and help.
The flexibility of distance learning is not a license to kick back and relax. You have to treat online education with the same respect and attention as any other school. It will take more discipline and willpower, but that’s the price of having more control over your schedule in this new academic world.
Set down some rules, live by them and you will succeed in reaching your goals!
Dorcas provides Distance Learning & Online Degree Programs, including MBAs. Any use of this article must include the above credit and link.