Eight Best Online Learning Practices

Online learning has become a critical component of education. Those new to using online platforms for learning should consider these tips to make the best out of it.

An online college degree has quickly become a popular option thanks to the benefits it offers students. In 2017, 6.6 million students were enrolled in some form of distance learning education, according to the research group EducationData

These online courses offer flexibility and make it easier for adult students to pursue their degrees despite other commitments, such as jobs or familial responsibilities.

Moreover, in the face of the modern pandemic, most colleges have also turned to online learning to continue education for students while trying to minimize the spread of disease. 

Between these two scenarios, millions of students across the country are preparing to begin their higher education studies online, which might be a completely new format. 

If you are new to online education, here are a few differences you should be aware of:

Time management is important

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When studying virtually, students often find they lack in-person reminders that might have helped them remain on task at a typical university.

For example, in-person study groups and attending class in a lecture hall that lacks distractions—such as the kitchen—will be absent. This means students will have to focus more on their time management skills to succeed.

The same workload as an on-site class

Although there might be more distractions and fewer in-person reminders for courses, the class workload will likely remain the same. Just because the class is online does not mean that it is easier. 

In fact, students might find that they have to put more of their skills to use—such as project management, organization, and time management—to work to succeed in an online class, which would provide them with an excellent opportunity to bridge the gap between what they study and what they practice. 

In the art world, making this leap can be critical to professional skills development and can set students up well for future success. If your school includes courses to help students develop project management skills as artists, you should make sure to take advantage of them.

Interact with instructors and students online

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With an online class, students also have to be ready to interact with their professors and classmates exclusively online. This means forming study groups, asking questions, and reviewing projects must all be completed online. 

Students need to be ready to take the initiative and remain fully engaged through the computer, including answering emails, participating in virtual conversations, and otherwise being responsive.

The amount of effort you put in will directly impact your performance

While interacting with everyone online, it can be tempting to view online classes as less serious than in-person ones. Spacing out during videos, getting up during lectures or study groups to get a snack, or putting less effort into sculptures or paintings, however, will impact your performance and what you can get out of your class. 

Maintaining a high level of engagement and recognizing the opportunities to build your theoretical knowledge into practical experience in preparation for your future art career is invaluable.

Your online exams will still be proctored

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Students sometimes wonder if their online classes mean that exams will be less stringent and perhaps even open book.  However, the technology exists to allow professors to monitor their students taking exams, which can make them just as strict as they would be otherwise. Prepare to study for your exams just as long and hard as you would in a more traditional classroom.

You need to understand the technology

Online classes require an inherent understanding of technology. You do not need to be a computer whiz, but you need to understand how the classroom works. 

This means grasping how to watch and engage with lectures, find and submit assignments, how the exams will be proctored, and how to reach out to your classmates. 

If you are new to taking online classes, take some time to explore the online platform before the class begins to help you feel comfortable with the layout and confidence throughout the course.

Real professors are teaching, and ready to answer questions

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Just because your class is online does not mean that the professors on the other side of the screen are any less real. In the same way, you can count on your professors in person to be invested in your education. You can also be assured of their concern online. 

Schedule office hours if you need help with material, approach them for feedback on important projects, and do not feel shy about engaging them the way you would in a brick-and-mortar classroom.

As you prepare for art school online, review the list above to feel prepared and get the most out of your online experience. Success in art careers requires students to understand how to balance theory with practice. Online classes can be an excellent way to begin learning how to do precisely that.

If you’re interested in getting accredited online degrees, please contact Academy of Art University for more information on our available degree programs. Enrollment is open for online and virtual on-site classes. Once you’ve evaluated your options and decided to join, apply to get started on your application.

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