Taking college courses online is a very different experience from traditional classroom learning. Online students must be responsible for managing their time, meeting deadlines, and communicating with instructors and classmates. Here are some other things to keep in mind:
1.) We recommend that all ACP Online students take the Online Tutorial, which every ACP Online student is entered into automatically. This brief, non-credit lesson is free for all ACP Online students. The lesson will teach students about UMSL's online programs such as MyGateway, help students to prepare their PCs, and inform them about what it takes to be successful in online courses.
2.) Students will need to have a personal computer (PC) with an Internet connection that will easily allow them to do several things at once, such as streaming video and browsing the Internet. Student computers should also have a word processing program like Microsoft Word. Please keep in mind that smartphones and tablets may allow students to complete certain functions of online courses, but these courses were designed to work best with PCs.
3.) Students will need to be prepared and willing to study at night and on the weekends. Online courses are designed to be flexible, meaning students who have part-time jobs and/or extracurriculars should be able to succeed in these courses. However, online students must also be willing to spend the necessary hours doing work for online courses and should set aside regular times each day to connect to their online courses.
4.) Students must be self-motivated. Many students who do not perform well in online courses struggle because they do not set a time each day dedicated to working on their online course. Online students must repeatedly make the decision to log-in to their online classes and complete their work and study for their tests. Students must also be good at working by themselves. Many classes and projects will require working with others in an online space (see below) but the majority of the time, students will be working alone, which means they will have to keep themselves on-task and free of distractions.
5.) Students will need to be comfortable communicating with others online via email, blog posts (aka discussion boards), and instant messaging. Most, if not all interactions will be online. Raising a hand in class will be replaced by sending an email to a professor.