Friday, March 20, 2009

eCore Tips for Success.

Hi everyone! I'm April, the eCore mentor. I just wanted to get this blog rolling with five tips I've found useful for success in eCore courses. But this is only the tip of the iceberg! If you're so inclined, please feel free to add more in the comment section!

1. Feel confident in your computer skills... or at the very least, comfortable. Your professor will present most if not all of your coursework online and your skill level with basic computer technology is a significant indicator of your potential success in an online environment. When taking part in an online course, it is essential that you have some fluency and comfort with using a computer.

2. Log onto the course every day… or at least 5-6 days a week; you will need regular and convenient access to a computer, as well as a dependable internet connection. Though logging in every day is not required, it is highly suggested. Please note that online courses take more self-management skills than traditional courses. If you let too much time lapse before logging on to your course discussion group, you may fall behind and find it very difficult to catch up. You will be expected to commit as much time, if not more, to an online class as you would for a traditional class. Avoid procrastination!

3. Set aside a study time and space… Let your family and friends know that certain times are designated for your schoolwork and that it is essential that you have as little distraction as possible. Make sure you don’t get diverted by the television, radio, etc., (perhaps making sure they’re not in the same room as you). You may even go so far as to disconnect or turn off your phone(s) during your allotted study time.

4. Backup your work… preferably on your own computer as well as on another source, either within your courses’ server, a flash drive/CD-ROM, an external hard drive, or all of the above. Saving your work can prevent you loads of frustration in the case of some unforeseen problem arising with your computer (e.g. power outage, hard drive crashes, etc.) - this is something I've unfortunately had first hand experience with, so learn from my mistake. ;)

5. Communicate… with your professor and your classmates. Working in an online environment may seem isolated, but this isn’t necessarily the case. You will have access to both your classmates and your professor either via email or discussion board, so take advantage of these tools and do not hesitate to ask questions. Discussion boards are a great way to ask questions, share tips, and even build camaraderie with your classmates!

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