The following Ten Tips for Success, though certainly not new or revolutionary, were compiled with the help of the textbook for the ELI distance learning version of SDV 100, David B. Ellis' Becoming a Master Student, and the staff at the Extended Learning Institute.
1. Establish a place for studying and begin immediately. Buy your course materials. Read your syllabus and skim your course guide. Create a space (not as comfortable as your bed!) that's only for studying. Begin now. This is not the time to procrastinate!
2. Plan your time wisely. Develop a plan for today. Develop a short-term plan, for the next week. Develop a long-term plan.
3. Plan on spending as much time on your distant learning course as you would if you were taking the course on campus. If you are taking a 3-credit course, plan on studying for at least 6 hours a week. (If you were attending class on campus, you would also be traveling to and from campus and parking your car!)
4. If technology is required, learn how to use it. Try it right away. If you need help, call immediately. Use it often.
Use the convenience of voice mail and email.
5. Don't ever hesitate to ask for help Although you are an independent learner, you are not alone. You have an instructor. You have people on staff whose mission is to help you. You have student services on campus to support you: counselors, librarians, writing and computer labs, tutoring services, financial aid, a veteran’s affairs office, and others.
6. Encourage yourself! Be positive! If you feel you are getting bogged down, remind yourself that this is going to help you achieve something you really want.
7. Take advantage of who you are. If you have just finished high school, you already know how to use new technology. If you use computers on the job, you will enjoy computer conferencing and you are accustomed to word processing. If you are older and are returning to school, you have maturity and a sense of purpose that will serve you well.
8. Pay attention to your own preferences. You have chosen distant learning because you need the flexibility and you believe you can succeed on your own, so decide on the best times for you to concentrate, discover 15-minute breaks when you can go over some notes or list the main ideas for your next paper.
9. Plan on times to relax, too, without guilt! Successful students: find enjoyment in learning; reduce anxiety by being well prepared; turn in assignments on time; set realistic goals for themselves; make the commitment to study.
10. Plan on times to relax, too, without guilt! Successful students: find enjoyment in learning; reduce anxiety by being well prepared; turn in assignments on time; set realistic goals for themselves; make the commitment to study.
This 45 minute webinar for NOVA students will focus on strategies and tips for being successful in distance learning courses offered through ELI. Topics covered will include time management, schedule planning, learning preferences, and support resources.
Use the link above to request a link to a webinar recording or to sign up for a live session.