Keys to Success in Your Online Classes
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Keys to Success in Your Online Classes

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

Erica Buchholz - CLE Washington DCBy Erica Buchholz, Student Services Coordinator

With the development of technology, the possibility to take your college classes from anywhere has helped millions of students across the world. Online classes offer many benefits to learning and can be a great option for students with unique learning differences. Here are some of the advantages to online learning and steps to help you succeed in your classes.

Benefits of Online Classes

Flexibility of online classesAvailability. There are online courses on such a variety of topics so students should be able to find a class that matches their interests and skills. Some of these courses are for credit through a university, but many online courses can be taken for enrichment purposes. Not only can you learn about an interest area, but you can continue to develop your reading and organization skills.

Flexibility with Timing. Most online classes can be taken at any time during the day, so a student is not confined to a particular schedule in order to learn. Students can have other commitments like work, and still continue learning. Students can also move at their own pace since all of the course material is easily accessible online at any time of the day. This can be particularly useful for students who learn differently. If your reading isn’t very fast, that is ok, you can read at your own pace and repeat the section if necessary.

Price. Some online courses are the equivalent of paying for a credited course at a university. Others can cost as little as $100 or be absolutely free. This opens up learning options and gives you lots of options to choose from.

Student Skills to Success

Neil - CLE Denver - online classBe Consistent. Students must sign into their courses regularly, even if there is no set time each day that you have to sign in to your class. Students must be dedicated to getting work done with minimal supervision from a professor.

Be willing to read a lot. All of your material for the class will be in a written lecture, article and/or in video format. It is vital that you read all of the instructions carefully in an online class. Each class can have you submit things in different places or in different ways. Some professors want specific formats, lengths, and fonts. Also, know that lectures in online classes must be read more than once. This is where the information for quizzes and tests comes from. Many students like to highlight important material in the lectures. You can copy and paste the lecture into a text document, then highlight, underline and make comments about what you are reading.

Communicate via Email. Students will need to email their professors to get clarification in an online class. There isn’t always a person to meet with face to face, so communicating your questions in email is an important skill for taking an online class. If you have multiple questions, number them in the email so your professor knows to answer them all.

Speak Up. Do not wait for another student to ask your question. If you have a question, ask it right away! Even if no one else has posted in the discussion board, you should post before the deadline. Don’t let group behavior stop you from doing well in the class. If you don’t ask, you run the risk of missing an assignment.

Realize that computers have problems too sometimes. If the course website is not working a few minutes before a deadline, you can still wind up missing an assignment. Always try to submit your work before the deadline so you don’t run into troubles. There might be a time that your power goes out and you can’t get on the internet to submit your paper. This won’t be an excused assignment, so be prepared and plan ahead.

Key Steps to Success

Sign into your class EVERY Day! It is important to watch for announcements from professors or changes to the schedule.

Follow the schedule/syllabus that is posted on the site. This will give you all of the important information such as due dates, grading policies, and how to contact the professor if you need help.

Check your grades often, at least once a week. When your professors have completed their review of your work, they will put your grade on the website. Confirm that the assignment you have submitted has been received by the professor.

If you have a question, make sure to check the discussion board for assistance. If no one else has asked your question, post it (as long as it is not personal). If no one responds with an answer that helps you, send a message to your professor.

Look in course content. If you are having difficulty finding an assignment on the website or are not sure what to do, look for a link to the Course Content. Check out all of the folders on the site. Click through all of the lists that are there. Each class is set up differently, and it may take some time to be able to locate all of the information and where to submit it. Don’t give up if you have trouble, reach out for help before you miss any deadlines.

Newsletter Articles – November 2014

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Many CLE students have intellectual talents and aptitude in the area of technology; two of the most common interests being, 1.) film and 2.) video games. CLE has responded to these interests by finding unique ways to ensure that we support students pursuing vocations and needing skill development in technology and found how to utilize their passion to be common ground for social development. Both film and video games could have the connotation of being isolating to people and hinder socialization. It could also be seen as an opportunity; depending on the lens you are looking through. At CLE, we have chosen the latter and believe that it is our responsibility to figure out how to harness student interests and create potential. The question is how can we do that effectively?

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These days our students use apps for all sorts of things. From help with academics and organization to planning their social lives, technology has been crucial in helping our students navigate their path toward independence. Here are some of the apps that our students at CLE Monterey find most helpful and fun to use.

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Educators and service providers are reaching for their iPads to help them meet the learning needs of the students they serve. An iPad isn’t simply another way to access Facebook or play Candy Crush; it is a nearly limitless educational tool!

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