What it means to take online courses

Rebecca JenkinsonRebecca Jenkinson, 31, is a Bachelor’s of Applied Studies in Leadership and Organizational Studies student from Berlin, Wis. Jenkinson was inspired to go back to college in 2011 by her desire to work in human resources, and she said she also hopes to be a role model for her four children.

Online courses were very appealing to me, the convenience of staying in my own home and doing my homework, “whenever” seemed easy. But taking an online course is more than reading a book and submitting your answers at your leisure. It takes organization, planning and effort to be successful in an online environment.

Courses are all in the same place in the D2L site, which makes it easy to go from one to another. The syllabus and other assignments are online, printing out the contents and putting it in a three-ring binder makes it easier to be organized. Reading the syllabus before the course starts, becoming familiar with deadlines and assignments will also be beneficial.

After starting my first classes online, I realized I needed an environment that would assist me, at doing my best. Not only does that mean having my own little office with a dry erase board of weekly due dates, table, computer and comfy chair, but it also means planning a time when the kids are occupied or in bed.

Being a stay-at-home mom, makes it difficult because I am at home most of the day, which makes it very tempting to work on my homework. Sometimes, I’m able to complete little assignments or discussion posts, but I would be dreaming if I thought I could do assignments and not be interrupted. I am most productive after the kids have gone to bed.

Taking more than one online class at a time means being connected every day, often multiple times a day. Often I am checking the discussion board to see if anyone has replied to my post and then replying if needed. Checking in multiple times a day has been made easier for me because I use my phone and a tablet and the UWO app, to access D2L anywhere and be involved in discussions. Being connected so often helps me to stay current and not procrastinate.

LLCE courses go fast, waiting to find a groove may not happen, so being as prepared as possible right from the start will be very beneficial!

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