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5 Tips to Help Prepare You for Your First Semester as an Online Student

Online learning is a convenient way for students who work full time or live far from campus to take courses. Online courses are just as demanding as traditional courses; however, by preparing early you can set yourself up for success. Here are five tips to help you get ready for your first semester as an online student.

Tip #1: Meet Tech Specifications

Make sure that your computer has the necessary software to participate in the course.  Universities often offer free software to students such as virus protection and Microsoft Office 365. You should also make sure that your internet service is working correctly.

Tip #2: Create a Routine

An online course requires just as much study time as a traditional course. Plan to spend two to three hours per credit hour for study and homework time. For a 3-credit-hour class, you should expect to spend between six and nine hours per week studying. Of course, this will vary according to the class type and subject matter. Develop a set routine for studying and block out your calendar accordingly.

Tip #3: Take a Sneak Peek

Sometimes courses open early before the scheduled start date. Take a sneak peek at the course and become familiar with the course content.

Tip #4: Read Your Syllabus

The syllabus is an outline of your instructor’s expectations for the course. It should give you all the required information about the class assignments, schedule and grading policy. You should read the syllabus as early as possible to see if you have any questions for the instructor.

Tip #5: Get to Know Your Advisor

Your advisor is the best person to ask questions about your program. Learn the program requirements, see what courses you need to take and find out if there are any prerequisite courses that you will need to take first. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask your advisor for help.