Online School Tips for Learning Success

Posted on October 09 2012

Going to a virtual high school provides you with plenty of flexibility and freedom as you work to earn your high school degree with your unique circumstances. However, as with “regular” schools, getting good habits will help you make the most out of your enrolment in an online school. You need to remember these tips to ensure online learning success.

  • Do check your selected virtual high school before you enroll. Sadly, there are some diploma mills that give legitimate online high schools a bad name. It is important to ensure that the online school you have chosen is accredited. For instance, The American Academy is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission. Being accredited means that the online school meets the standards of the accrediting body. This covers areas such as the school curriculum, the way lessons are delivered and provided to students, and overall, the quality of education that the school can offer its students.
  • Do be realistic. With The American Academy’s over 100 online courses, it can be tempting to try to enroll in more classes than you can actually handle. Remember, you may also need to consider your other activities and responsibilities aside from your online high school education. There are a variety of reasons why one makes the decision to study online. One may be currently employed, a single mother, an athlete, a gifted student planning on getting to college early. These particular circumstances may demand a considerable percentage of your time and energies. So, before you bite off more online classes than you can chew, look at your daily and weekly schedule and make an honest assessment of just how many hours a week you can spend in school.
  • Do prioritize your workspace. Carve out a workspace for your online studies. Doing so will help you be on “work mode” when you are in your home “office”. This should be a corner in your house that is more private and has little foot traffic. Parents, you may need to minimize distractions such as a blaring television, or cell phones, iPads and other gadgets.
  • Do keep a copy of the syllabus. This helps you plan your schedules and to-do lists. The syllabus gives you a summary of what is expected of you with regards to that specific course. Once you have this, list down the projects and their deadlines.
  • Do interact with your teachers. Even if you are under an online high school program, this doesn’t mean that you should remain anonymous and not interact with your teachers. The teachers at The American Academy can provide you with invaluable help. Feel free to contact them if you have any questions or need further guidance in a particular topic.
  • Do try to be a good online citizen. Make sure that you communicate with your study group, if you have any. Check your inbox regularly. With the advent of portable devices and Smartphones, you can always check your email even if you’re not at home. Observe good netiquette, especially as you will be sending e-mails to others who may misunderstand what you’re trying to say. Participate in online forums and discussions to help you get and share insights with other students.
  • Do develop good time management skills. Often, the problem with an online school is that it is easy to procrastinate and put off things until later. For those who have other balls to juggle (your family, your work, your “regular” schooling, your social life or your time for Facebook and other such sites), it can be particularly tempting to focus on these things, rather than your studies. Learn how to manage your time wisely so that you can make the most of your learning, rather than cramming all you have to know in one go.
  • Do be willing to be tech savvy. Since your lessons are delivered using technology and you will also be doing your assignments and projects in the same way, start learning the software. Don’t be afraid to explore the software provided, familiarizing yourself with the virtual landscape where you will be working. Learn not just the software but the hardware as well, so that you can be your own troubleshooter when things go wrong with your computer.
  • Do practice honesty. Copying and pasting to complete your assignments and projects is definitely an academic no-no. Make sure that your properly cite any material you get from other authors.
  • Do motivate yourself. It is important to give yourself a pat in the back for checked out items I your to-do list. Take well-earned breaks so that when you get back to your work, your mind is fresh and renewed.