So, you're taking an online class! Congratulations! This is the way of the future and you can do this! In some ways, online learning is a lot easier than in-class work: you just have to know how to do it. Once you get the hang of it, it is much more efficient because you don't have to stop for class distractions or the teacher correcting other students or other things that suck up a lot of class time in a live class.
But the hard part about online learning is it's WAY too easy to procrastinate and then dig yourself into a hole. Especially if you are also taking live classes, you must guard against ignoring online when you have other pressing deadlines.
Below are tips for success. These will work for students in NCVPS classes and other online courses based on my experience helping middle school at Piedmont, and with online learning in general with high schoolers and college students.
Step 1. Choose the course wisely. Do you have time? Do you have interest? You will do best if you have a set aside daily time and an interest. Don't worry, though, even if the course was chosen for you or if you're busy, you can still succeed.
Just read on...
Step 2. Check the materials posted online as soon as you can log in. This gives you time to correct any problems with your login and helps you learn your way around the online platform your teacher is using. Click each button and tab to see what is there. Do this every day until the course officially starts so you don't forget useful locations.
Step 3. Find your class calendar and print a hard copy. Sometimes this is part of the "syllabus" sometimes it is a separate calendar. Post it in the room you will be working in or place it the front of your notebook or your binder (or both) CHECK OFF EACH LESSON AS YOU COMPLETE IT. This keeps you from falling behind and keeps you from missing a test or quiz.
Step 4: Write your teacher or contact your online coordinator AS SOON AS you notice anything wrong. Don't assume it's your fault and above all don't try to hide your confusion. Online teachers sometimes can't see the same screen their students see. This is a big problem because they might THINK you can view something you can't . Also there may be technical issues with your equipment or a site they ask you to use and they can give you a fix or a new link.
Step 5: Do the WORK *
Don't skip steps. Are you remembering to check off your lesson progress on your printed calendar every day like I told you in step 3? If not, you MUST! In a live class, you have someone to yell at you (well, nicely nag you) and get you back on task. In an online class, your teacher can't see you and remind you so the calendar becomes your nag. It is a good idea to add the due dates to your google calendar so you can set notifications and text reminders to come to your phone. I set multiple reminders for important dates.
Step 6: CHECK YOUR GRADES. You should have found the place where you can view upcoming assignment due dates and graded work. Check that tab every class period to make sure you're on track. If a grade is low, go back to step 4. You should contact your teacher unless it is totally clear to you where you messed up and how to fix it going forward. If they aren't helpful google for online tutorial and gaming sites. They might have fun ways to master the content so you can get back on track. Try Khan Academy tutorials or language apps like Duolingo.
How to ask for help:
Use this template to message your teacher:
Hi my name is ____ and I am a student in your ____ class. I was looking at ____ (your grade, your syllabus, lesson #_ etc) and I had a question about ____. Can you please explain it to me so I can __(understand, make it up, raise my grade, etc) If you have any advice for me how to make sure I do better in the future, I will gladly follow it. Thank you and I appreciate it.
Sincerely, ___ (your name)
* Tips for students who have trouble with step 5.
If you have difficulty making yourself work, try this:
Get a study buddy to force you to do the work. A friend, a teacher at your school, or a parent who can check your grades is a good idea.
Offer yourself a reward for getting all your work done each week.
Break jobs down into smaller tasks so you don't psych yourself out with all you have to do.
Set alarms on your phone and don't stop working until it rings
Hide your phone and don't look at it or go to another website until you've completed the day's activity.
If that sounds too hard, do one half of the work then take a play break. Set an online timer for 5 minutes so you don't forget and play all class.
If you just don't like the class, force yourself to get the assignment done before you do anything you are more motivated to do. fun "Eat your vegetables before dessert" .www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-make-yourself-work-when-youre-mood-dr-travis-bradberry
More ideas here: www.quora.com/How-can-I-stop-procrastinating-as-a-high-school-student-and-just-get-good-grades
This is Ms. Gurthie's place for students at Piedmont and elsewhere to find resources to fuel their passions. Besides making fun lesson ideas for teachers, I wanted this space to provide PD for students too!