- Student Support
How to Succeed in Distance Learning
Taking a distance learning course is much different from traditional college courses.
Statistically, virtual courses (via computer or television) have a higher drop rate than do courses that meet one to three times per week.
Be open to change
Studying for a virtual course is different than studying for a traditional (on-campus) course.
Set time aside for study for your distance course
Organize your time. Use a planning calendar (separated into hour or half-hour increments). Mark out fixed responsibilities such as work, on-campus classes, religious obligations, etc. Enter study time of at least 10-12 hours per week, per class.
Don't over-schedule your time. Be realistic. Allow for "time crashers," (appointments that take longer than expected, computer program malfunction, ISP service not connecting, emergencies, etc.) Schedule breaks and free time. You need these so don't feel guilty for taking a well-deserved respite.
The best time of day to do virtual coursework is when you have the most energy. Distance learning is difficult enough without trying to accomplish it while not at your peak performance level.
Find a quiet study area
Study in a quiet area without distractions. Turn off telephones, cell phones, pagers, and televisions (unless studying televised educational programming). If using your computer while connected online, turn off email and IM programs.
If you don't have a quiet place to study at home, consider the College or public libraries.