Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

Study Tips

Study Tips

Budget your time

At a minimum, you will need to work between 6 and 8 hours EACH week in order to be successful in an online course. Below is a sample time schedule you can use to adapt to fit your course needs.

Review unit introductions and assignments
Begin reading, research and writing assignments
Participate on the discussion board
Complete assignments, tests and quizzes

Get organized

It’s very easy to get behind in an online course because you don’t actually see the instructor or your fellow students on a regular basis. No one can force you to login to Blackboard or to answer your email. If you’re not careful, you can attend to the responsibilities that are right there in your life and postpone your responsibilities in cyberspace….but try not to.

Meet deadlines

Many students incorrectly believe that an online course is self-paced and they can choose when to hand in materials. Actually, online courses are instructor-paced and there are strict deadlines which must be met if you are to pass the course. If you really don’t have time to do the work, drop or withdraw from the course before you fall behind and/or get a bad grade.

Keep in touch with your instructor and your classmates

Most instructors provide a discussion board or messages tool within Blackboard for you to ask questions about the course requirements, the course content, or the technology. As soon as you begin to be confused or have a question, ask for help from your fellow students. Most online students are glad to help and welcome a chance to get to know their classmates better.

Successful online students are…

  • Self-motivated and do not need a lot of stimulus from an instructor
  • Able to spend 6-8 hours per week on each online course they take
  • Self-disciplined and can budget time wisely to meet deadlines
  • Take charge of their own learning and are willing to ask questions and get help when necessary
  • Proactive in identifying and meeting expectations set forth by an instructor
  • Strong in verbal-linguistic skills, especially reading comprehension and written communication

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