Virtual classroom, tangible results

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 Samantha Yorke is an assistant director and success coach for the Office of Undergraduate Student Success at NSU. She earned her bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida and her master of science degree in higher education from Florida State University. Samantha is a proud Floridian with a passion for empowering others.

Virtual classes may be one of the coolest creations since sliced bread. In a virtual course, you are provided with opportunities to interact and engage with a class and a professor, and you get the opportunity to learn from an off-campus location that may be more convenient for you. It is important to remember that these virtual classrooms still require several steps for success, just like any course would. If you are currently enrolled in or are considering enrolling in a virtual classroom, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

Confirm technical requirements

As early as possible, make sure you have the right technical devices prepped to be successful in the course. Consider consulting with the Office of Innovation and Information Technology at NSU for assistance if you have any problems, such as connecting with Blackboard. You can contact the office at nova.edu/oiit.

Connect with instructors early on

Email your professors and introduce yourself within the first week of class. You do this in an on-campus course anyway, so why not do the same for your online courses? If possible, make an appointment during the professor’s office hours to speak to them in person or over the phone. This will be beneficial to you, especially if you have questions about the course later on in the semester. Faculty want you to succeed and may have some great tips for the course you are speaking to them about.

Create a schedule for your coursework

Your online course should be treated like an on-campus course when it comes to studying, and you should have specific times and days that you log into the course to work on your assignments. Consider building virtual class hours into your current schedule to keep up with the consistency of the class, so that it is a regular part of your routine. Having an organized schedule for all courses is an ideal way to succeed in balancing your work and minimize stress for the entire semester.

 Stay organized

Make sure you know due dates, group chat information and when lectures occur. Write down all dates from your syllabus into a calendar the first week of class, so that you know if an exam or assignment is coming up and can start studying early. This can help you get ahead in large projects and exams that usually have a way of sneaking up on you.

Have a consistent workspace

You should use the same device and same location each time you work on assignments for this course. The more similar the environment is each time you study, the easier it is to focus and produce quality work. Make sure this study place has limited distractions, including your cellphone.

Support offices around NSU should still be used for virtual courses when possible. For more information on these offices, visit nova.edu/yoursuccess/forms/nsu-student-success-resources.pdf.  Remember, virtual classes provide flexibility in your schedule but require the same amount of effort as an on-campus course. Complete the steps above to maximize your virtual course experience for tangible, positive results.

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