How to be a Successful Online Learner

With the majority of classes at Mass Maritime moving online, you want to make certain you will be successful completing your online course work.  Here are some ways to ensure that you are prepared.

1. Have access to a computer and an internet connection
The online course content and interaction are engaged by computer through the internet. Be certain you have access to the necessary equipment.

2. Be self-motivated and self-disciplined
With the freedom and flexibility of the online environment comes responsibility. The online process takes a real commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the process.

3. Be willing and able to spend the necessary time on each course
Online is not easier than the traditional educational process. In fact, many students will say it may need more time and commitment.  Be sure to attend all online classes and spend additional time completing assignments and studying.

4. Be willing to “speak up” if problems arise
Many of the non-verbal communication mechanisms that instructors use in determining whether students are having problems (confusion, frustration, boredom, etc.) are not possible in an online class. If you are experiencing difficulty on any level (either with the technology or with the course content), you must communicate this immediately. Otherwise, your instructor will never know what is wrong.

5. Be able to communicate through writing
In an online class, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that you feel comfortable in expressing yourself in writing.

6. Be open minded about sharing experiences as part of the learning process.
Introverts as well as extroverts find that the online process requires them to utilize their experiences. Online classes eliminate the visual barriers that may hinder some individuals from expressing themselves. In addition, the student is given time to reflect on the information before responding. The online environment should be open and friendly.

7. Accept critical thinking and decision making as part of the learning process.
The learning process requires that you make decisions based on facts as well as experience. Assimilating information and executing the right decisions requires critical thought; case analysis does this very effectively.

8. Be able to think ideas through before responding.
Meaningful and quality input into the virtual classroom is an essential part of the learning process. Time is given in the process to allow for the careful consideration of responses. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged; you will not always be right, just be prepared to accept a challenge.