Fell: Exam success in the online classroom

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As the digital age expands and develops, online classes are becoming phenomenally more popular than they were ten years ago. They offer a range of different benefits such as flexible schedule for students with hectic work schedules, personalized format, and the comfort of wherever you log in from. For those of you who hate the classroom setting or dread being called on/presenting to a class, these classes are a sanctuary. However, a word of caution: online classes take an outstanding amount of time management as well as self-discipline. Do not let that scare you off, here is how to make yourself stick to the online regime.

Rowan works through the Instructure Canvas found at www.rowanonline.com. Here students log in to their canvas using the same information as their emails. When it pops up, it brings you to your dashboard which is a nice, neat, organized depiction of the classes you are currently enrolled in. Online classes work differently though than regular classes. Class weeks start on Tuesday and run through Monday and then restart the next Tuesday. Typically, all your assignments are due by Monday at 11:59 p.m. (which can save you if you procrastinate but not advisable to wait).

Now in Canvas, there is a calendar. This shows all the assignments due for each class each week. So, if you aren’t an agenda person or struggle to keep track of stuff or write things down, good news, the internet did it for you. This tool helps because it separates the classes into colors. Therefore, all that class’ assignments will appear on the calendar in blue, for example. The calendar is accessible at any time and viewable up to the end of the semester. Some modules for your class aren’t viewable until the week of but if you go into the calendar, you can see what is coming.

In addition to the calendar, also make sure you keep an eye on the media gallery for each class. Here your professors will upload lectures they have done to help get you through your lessons with them. These are particularly helpful if you do learn better through listening. They also come in-handy during exam time because you can go back and listen to the lectures as you review your notes.

Speaking of which, exams online are different in some cases than in class exams. Most of the time, but not all (review instructor guidelines first) allow you to use your notes to help you but do require a lot of studying. If you have a big exam coming up, space out your studying. DO NOT CRAM. As a good pupil, you should take good notes. Review your notes from the textbook, if there is one, and then go over and listen to the lectures again. Finally, study your notes. Then, if your professor if generous enough to provide a practice exam, take it. Jot down notes on what you got wrong if anything.

Online classes do not have to be scary. There are several ways to make them fun and easy. I, personally, have taken at least half of my credits online because I am working full time and it works for me. It is not for everyone. Don’t be afraid of your professors either. Just because you cannot see them, doesn’t mean they are scary or mean. Ask questions, send emails and ask for help if you are struggling.

For questions/comments about this column, email editor@thewhitonline.com or tweet @thewhitonline.

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