There are two types of online classes. First, there are recorded, independent-learning classes where students watch recorded lectures on their own schedule. Answer keys or grading services are provided. Second, there are live, interactive classes where students meet with the teacher and fellow students in real time in an online classroom. The teacher is available for assistance and typically handles grading. Yesterday we wrote about how to get the most out of live, interactive classes (Part One). Today we'll tackle recorded, independent-learning courses (Part Two).
How to Get the Most Out of Recorded, Independent-Learning Online Classes
These tips, which can be applied to any online recorded course program, come from our personal experience using Unlimited Access with our own homeschooled children.
- Set aside a regular day and time for your recorded classes -- keep to a regular schedule. Recorded courses are typically independent-learning programs, so self discipline and parental follow up is especially important.
- Consider taking courses as a family. Plug the computer into the television and watch together.
- Begin with courses that peak your children’s interest.
- If you do not like the first course you take, don’t give up. Try another course with a different instructor. You may find that another instructor’s teaching style better fits your child’s learning styles.
- Read course descriptions and directions carefully. Order the textbook or other course materials if applicable.
- Prepare a notebook for the course to write notes while watching the recorded lectures. Also use the notebook for homework. Review as needed. Studies show that handwritten notes make a big difference in retaining lessons.
- Find a comfortable place and make sure you have everything you need for class before you start: pencil; notebook; textbook; water; etc.
- Make sure distractions are kept to a minimum during class time. If you are taking the course alone, use a headset to help block outside noises.
- If review is needed, class recordings can be watched multiple times. You can fast forward or rewind as you watch.
- Take advantage of additional support materials if offered. These can include websites; reading materials; videos; etc.
- If your course provider offers answer keys, parents should print these off to keep in a file. Students are often on their honor not to cheat.
- Some course providers will offer grading services. Make sure to respect the teacher's time and turn in assignments on schedule. If you will be late due to illness or unforeseen circumstances, contact your grader ASAP.
- Make sure to record grades and file for your records. For free homeschooling forms, visit homeschoolconnectionsonline.com/homeschool-forms. Another resource for online planning is www.scholaric.com.
- Email your course provider immediately if you have any questions or ever need help.
We hope that these tips help you be successful in your online classes. If you have further tips, please share in the comments below.