Online Assignments Effectively
Learning Assistance Services Coordinator
Approach Online Course Activities
- Remember that your
assigned online activities represent a one-unit (one-hour weekly)
traditional face-to-face (f2f) class where a minimum of two
additional hours of reading, thinking, and responding time are
expected each week. Be sure to budget your time to incorporate
- Spend time becoming
familiar with the course site. Explore, click on links, read
the introduction. In short, get to know the technology and how
the course is set up. Remember, online courses have a different
feel to them, and the faster you become familiar and comfortable
with this form of learning, the easier it will be for you to
get on with learning the material that is presented.
- Print the syllabus,
the course introduction, and each unit with its respective assignments.
Get a 3-ring notebook and dividers, and file your materials
just as you would for a traditional f2f course. This can save
you time because you will have the material available for easy
reference, especially at times when you cannot be actually "in
class." You may also want to print certain discussion board
posts that relate directly to your tutoring experiences, so
you can refer to them later.
- Make every effort
to keep up with the class assignments. These include your discussion
board posts, responding to questions from your classmates and
instructor, and your weekly journals.
- Interact with your
classmates as much as possible. This will not only give you
a feeling of connection, it will also be a major source of your
learning. You will be surprised at how quickly friendships can
develop through discussion board conversations and how much
you will look forward to talking with one another. Remember
also that if you don't say anything, no one knows you are there,
so speak up and enjoy what happens.
- If you spend a
lot of time at your computer, be sure to take frequent short
breaks because the material is much more vision intensive than
reading paper print materials. To relieve eyestrain, look away
from the screen, close your eyes, or focus on something else
across the room.
- Expand or maximize
the window so it fills the entire screen. This will make reading
easier. Also, make the print larger so you are not hunched over
the computer or straining to see what's on the screen. If you
need help adjusting font size, contact your instructor.
How to Read Text and Web-Linked Assignments
you read, here are some steps to follow:
through the syllabus, the course introduction, and the assignment
directions several times. If you have questions, e-mail your
instructor immediately! Don't let confusion set in at the beginning
of the course, or you will feel lost from the start. There is
no such thing as a dumb question! Your teacher wants you to
succeed and will be glad to help you!
any guidelines you have been given, such as "Read this
in preparation for this week's discussion board post,"
or "Read to see how this compares with how you handle this
situation in a tutoring session."
over the text chapter organization. Read the headings, subheadings,
bold print, the introductory and concluding paragraphs. How
will the organization of the text help you find the material
you read your assigned materials, follow these steps:
- Keep the assignment
questions and tasks in mind.
- Read with a pencil
or pen in hand. Use the wide margins in your book to mark sections
that relate to your responses and make comments and notes in
the margin that seem to apply to the questions. Mark and respond
to passages that you might use in your double-entry journal.
- Study-read from
heading to heading. When you finish a section, stop and summarize
what you know. If you can't say it or write it, then the information
may not be understood, or it has not been stored in memory.
Go back and reread the section and try this again.
- To take notes from
Internet materials, open up a word processing document and cut
and paste into it what you think may be relevant to your course
assignments. If you need help with how to do this, ask your
teacher or a classmate.
- Restate ideas in
your own words. Think about what the author has said and how
it relates to your tutoring experiences. Try to remember specific
incidences that relate directly to the topics being discussed.
- Ask yourself questions.
Do you agree with the author? with what someone has stated in
a discussion board post? with a comment made by your instructor?
Why or why not? What evidence supports your position?
- Compare what you
are reading either in the text or on the discussion board with
what you know. How does new information fit with information
you have learned or your experience? Does it reinforce, contradict,
or add new information?
- If you don't understand
what you are reading, find a way to get back on track. Are unfamiliar
words confusing you? Have you prepared for the chapter content
by reading the introduction and conclusion first? Have you reread
the parts of the paragraph or section that you find confusing
with the goal of understanding your questions? Does the next
sentence, paragraph, or section help you understand the part
you found confusing? Have you posted a question on the discussion
board to see if this section confuses anyone else or if someone
can help you understand it? Your classmates, as well as your
instructor, are available 24/7, so why not take advantage of
you complete your reading, you want to find
ways to use and store the information in memory:
- Respond to the
discussion board posts. Read carefully and follow the question
directions. Be thoughtful, clear, and complete in your answers.
- Remember that your
posts are read by everyone in the course, so the image you present
of yourself through what you say and how you say it are visible
to all. As a tutor, be sure you are modeling "good student"
- To keep a record
of your posts, write them first in a word processing program,
use the spell check, and proofread. Then copy and paste your
responses to the discussion board. This way you have a record
of your answers in case there is a problem with the technology,
as well as having the chance to be sure your writing appears
- Reread thoughts
you've organized, questions you've answered, and discussion
board posts from your classmates. Don't be surprised if you
discover gaps in your knowledge. When you do, go back through
the steps explained in this discussion until you know that the
material is part of your knowledge and tutoring techniques.
- Select the information
that seems most relevant to your tutoring situation and subject.
Try to form a clear picture of how you will apply the strategies
to your own sessions with students.
you want more information, check out these two web sites:
Study Resources: http://studyweb.chemeketa.edu/resources.htm
Ten Minute Guide to Internet Writing: http://members.aol.com/intwg/