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8 Mistakes Online Students Often Make

number8.JPGThe idea of earning a degree online is very attractive to many people. Class times tend to be flexible. Commuting time and costs are eliminated. And you can get access to schools that may not even be in your city — or even your state.

Yet, too many students jump into an online learning situation with false expectations. In a recent story published by U.S. News & World Report (April 20, 2010), writer Kim Clark discusses “8 Big Mistakes Online Student Make.” Here’s her list:

1. Not checking out the school. Students need to check out a school’s history, accreditation and reputation in their community before signing up Find out if the kind of companies you’d like to work for recognize this school or even have graduates on their payroll. What kind of services does the school provide? If you plan to take classes on evenings and weekends, make sure live, online help is available during those periods.

2. Not budgeting enough time. Online college-level courses are no picnic. In fact, some are even more intense and demanding than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, requiring students to budget at least 10 hours of study per week for every course in the session. (Fortunately, this time can be broken up into small periods at the student’s convenience, something you can’t do at a traditional school.) Oh, and don’t plan to take a vacation during a program session. Most online programs require students to post thoughtful comments and join online discussions on a daily basis as well as take a constant stream of tests and quizzes. Missing even just a few days could fatally impact your course grade point average.

3. Being unrealistic about your learning style. Some people are natural time managers, are self-disciplined and work well in isolation. Other people need help from others to stay are track, are prone to procrastination and need constant social interaction to thrive. If you’re like the former, you may do very well in an online school. But if you need the help of professors, teacher assistants and fellow students to keep you on course, maybe a traditional ground school is a smarter investment.

4. Having incompatible technology. Online learning is all about making the best use of 21st century technology, so it only makes sense to be certain your home computer is up to your school’s standards. This probably means having a high-speed DSL or broadband cable connection (not old-fashioned dial-up) and standard software applications like Microsoft Word and Excel.

5. Confirm your teacher’s online experience. Online teaching is even more challenging than online learning, so be sure to confirm your instructor has experience in this field. If he/she doesn’t, then you might look for a similar class taught by a different teacher — or try a different school.

6. Taking on too much to soon. Starting at an online college is literally “going back to school,” and it can take time to understand how to succeed this new virtual environment. It may make sense to begin with a single introduction-style course to get your “feet wet” before taking on a full academic schedule.

7. Thinking it’s okay to “copy and paste.” It’s an online course. You’re working on a computer. What’s more natural than to “cut and paste” your assignments together from all the available online sources? Sorry, but most online schools frown on “cut and pasting” as much as traditional schools do, and they have programs that can quickly spot essays that have been cobbled together from other writers.

8. Being unprepared or unwilling to work with a “virtual team.” Students used to working with other students face-to-face may have trouble operating in “virtual workgroups,” but such skills are not only essential to academic success, they can also prove valuable in the increasingly Web-based business world.

Everest University is Available Online

Online degree programs are available now from Everest University Online, a division of Everest University. For more information on programs, schedules, accreditation and costs, contact Everest University Online today! Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Tagged with: Articles, Everest University Online

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