It takes some planning and thought to be able to navigate the best approach to online learning. Students need to ensure they are aware of the claims disreputable schools make, are able to manage their work load and think about how to best use their degree once they’ve achieved their educational goals. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your online learning experience. Read the 7 common mistakes listed below so you are well versed to avoid them.
1. Choose the right school. You don’t just want a piece of paper, you want a good education. “Diploma mill” schools charge students a lot of money to get a worthless diploma that could have been printed in any home office. Credentialed schools are reputable and give students an enriched learning experience as well as a diploma to be proud of. Before you enroll in an online school, make sure it has the appropriate regional accreditation and do some research to find out what type of programs, resources and support will be provided.
2. Procrastinating. This problem is magnified ten-fold when students have the leisure of completing classes at their own pace. Many students never finish their degree because they lack the self-discipline and motivation to sit down and get their work done on a daily basis. If you’re prone to putting off work, set some definite goals for yourself and stick to them. Many students have found it beneficial to create a deadline for receiving their degree and set smaller monthly, weekly, and daily goals that will allow them to reach that deadline.
3. Failing to connect with their peers and professors. One of the most rewarding experiences in education is learning through collaboration. Forming meaningful relationships with your peers and professors can allow you to learn more, stay motivated, and have an outlet to express your own understanding of subject matter. Don’t let yourself miss out on the benefits of these relationships just because your classrooms are online. Stay connected through message boards, chat rooms, email, and other virtual resources.
4. Paying too much. The sad truth is that school is pricey. You’re probably not going to get your education for free, but make sure that the future rewards will outweigh the cost of the debt you accumulate now. You don’t want to find yourself making a $30,000 teacher’s salary while paying back a $100,000 student loan. (unfortunately, this case is not all that uncommon). However, an MBA from a reputable school may be worth a significant student loan in the long run. Whatever you choose, make sure you only take loans for what is absolutely neccissary and try to save in other ways. Books and supplies can often be found at significantly lower prices (or even for free) if you know where to look and most computer and software companies offer huge discounts for currently enrolled students.