Online Success Strategies
Taking a class online is quite different from sitting in a classroom. Without the dedicated class time and in-person interactions, it can be difficult to focus on the material and assignments. Below are useful Online Success Strategies to use when taking an online course for the first time, or to review even if you've taken online courses before.
1. Making Time
a. Set aside a specific study time each week, and make this a time that you honor and commit to every week.
2. Your Learning Space
a. Have a dedicated study space with reliable internet. Maybe this is your home, or a relative’s home. It could be a public space, such as a café. Whatever it is, make it work for you, and try to minimize distractions. This will be your “classroom.”
3. Thinking About Your Goals
a. Develop your study goals. What do you want to get from your course? Maybe you want to improve your classroom, or receive a promotion with your new skills.
4. Whatever this goal is, write it down and focus on it during your course.
5. Assignments and Deadlines
a. When you receive the syllabus, look over each module and make note of all assignments. Use a calendar, either a paper one or online, to chart out your assignments and set deadlines for yourself.
6. For some questions, you may clarify it through your research instructor.
Discussion Tips for MOOCs
This course will include a number of discussions to allow you to engage with each other and with course content. You are encouraged to be active in discussions, even if they are optional. Statistics show that learners get more out of their online courses if they actively participate in discussions.
If you have participated in online courses before, you may find that discussions can be a bit different in a MOOC, due to the high number of participants. Below are some tips for getting the most out of discussions in a MOOC:
1. Set aside dedicated time in your schedule to engage in course discussions.
2. Begin by introducing yourself and asking a question about the topic being discussed. Try to post a question that is specific, rather than one that is too vague.
3. Read the posts above yours before you post, to make sure your question has not already been asked and answered by other participants.
4. Keep your posts short and concise. It's best to address just one main idea or point per post.
5. Support your statements with evidence, and check that they are accurate before posting.
6. Only post a comment if you believe it will add value to the conversation.
7. Don't be afraid to disagree with other participants' comments, but always be respectful and explain why you disagree.
8. Be open to other people's views. You may encounter fellow participants with very different perspectives, and this is an opportunity to broaden your horizons.
9. If someone asks you a question or responds to your post, respond to them promptly. Give positive feedback, if appropriate, and offer assistance if you have useful information.
10. Consider your phrasing when making a post or responding to someone. Written comments can be interpreted differently by different people, so be careful to make your post polite and respectful.
11. When you provide feedback, make it thoughtful, and engaging. Don’t simply say “Yes, I agree” or “No, I disagree”; try to write more in response, so others can understand your thoughts and be inspired to contribute their own.
12. If you post a comment that refers to what another classmate said, quote that classmate to bring context to your thoughts. This will help others understand your point, and keep them from having to look for the original statement.
13. Don’t cross-post (posting the same comment in multiple forums), or copy someone else’s comments. Your work should be yours alone, and should be original to you.
14. Stay on topic, and don’t post irrelevant thoughts, discussions, or photos. These can be disruptive to your classmates.
NO TO PLAGIARISM
Plagiarism is the use of ideas, information, or words that you read without giving credit to the source. Most of the time, plagiarism is unintentional, but even if you don't mean to take credit for other people's work, you still have to be careful to give credit to any resource you use when writing or creating material, even in an online discussion.
You will get the most out of discussions with your peers if you write up your responses based on your own personal experiences and opinions. Since your peers will be responding to you, including uncredited information from an outside source may take the discussion off topic.
Giving credit, or citing a source, means that you show whose ideas you used in your writing. According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (2016), “When citing, provide the author’s name when you first introduce your quote, summary or paraphrase of his or her text (e.g., ‘Harris writes,’ ‘According to Rodriguez’).”
Here is an example of an in-text citation: Learner-centered instruction fosters autonomous learning and a sense of ownership over the learning experience, resulting in higher participation and more collaboration between participants (Brown, 2007, p. 52).
According to Harmer (2007, p. 51), Task-Based Learning (TBL) “is a natural extension of communicative language teaching. In TBL, the emphasis is on the task rather than the language”.
What type of information needs a citation?
You must cite the source of any information that is not common knowledge. An example of common knowledge is that the sky is blue. So, if you want to include any specific information that you learned while reading or studying, you must cite the source of that information. This rule applies to quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing other sources in discussions and assignments.
The AE E-Teacher Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State (accessed on June 01, 2020)