Discussion: Online Learning Strategies

Completing courses in the absence of a physical classroom and frequent face-to-face contact can be challenging, even for those who are comfortable with technology and the online environment. You need to be able to plan and manage your time well, particularly since there is no structured “class time”; communicate clearly and effectively where there is no visual or nonverbal feedback; and use technology effectively. 

This Discussion provides you with an opportunity to think about your skills in the above areas, to explore strategies for successful online learning, and exchange strategies with your colleagues.

                                                To prepare:

Review this Week’s assigned readings from the Walden e-Guide and the document, “Technical Tips for Learning at Walden,” in the Learning Resources.

Review this week’s media program, “Tips for Effective Online Composition and Communication.”

Think about some strategies you have used, or read about, that may be beneficial for effective planning, time management, communication, and technology use.

Consider how the strategies you have identified can contribute to being a successful online learner.

Post a description of at least one strategy for each of the following areas related to online success: planning, time management, communication, and technology use. 

Explain how/why you think use of each strategy will contribute to your success as an online learner.

Support your Discussion assignment with specific resources used in its preparation using APA formatting. You are asked to provide a reference for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.



Technical Tips for Learning at Walden

1. Naming files and documents properly.

To ensure timely feedback, please name your documents according to the naming convention specified in the weekly areas.

2. Proper Microsoft Word formatting.

You should follow proper APA formatting when composing papers. This includes:

· Cover page with your name listed

· Double-spaced

· Set correct margins

· Use the tab key, not the space bar, for paragraph indents

· Use Times New Roman or other approved font

· Hanging indents on the reference list

Please consult your APA Manual for guidelines on any of these formatting requirements.

3. Understanding where to find feedback.

Comments not directly in My Grades can usually be found on the paper itself. If you have a version of Microsoft Word earlier than 2003, please ensure you have the “track changes” and “view comments” feature turned on in Word to view feedback. In the Word menu bar, select Tools: Track Changes check “Highlight changes” and Tools: Options: View Tab: Check “Screen Tips” and “Hidden Text.


4. Knowing how to find key Walden information in your myWalden portal and the Walden University website.

Almost everything you need—from online registration, to residency information, to program forms—can be found either in your myWalden portal under the Academics or Student Services tabs or on the Walden University website “Inside Walden”


5. If you cannot access a link, try right-clicking on the link and selecting “Save Target As…” and saving the file to your desktop first before opening it.

Large documents don’t always open by simply clicking on the link. They must be downloaded to your computer first. If you still cannot open the link, you may have a pop-up blocker on that needs to be temporarily turned off.

6. If BlackBoard kicks you out of the classroom and asks you for a BlackBoard login, a security setting on your system will need to be adjusted.

As long as you haven’t been idle for a long time, if you are asked for a BlackBoard login ID and password, it may be that you have a) too high a browser security, b) a firewall, or c) a pop-up blocker. Please review your Student Technical Readiness Orientation for directions on how to check and adjust these settings.

7. If you do not log in to your course for 3 consecutive days, you will receive a reminder e-mail.

These e-mails are a safety-net measure to make sure everything is okay technically. They are automated and in no way a reflection of your participati

10 Tips for Being a Successful Online Learner

1. Read the syllabus.

The Syllabus should be the first item you read (and print out) on the first day of the course. The Syllabus includes important information about the course structure, topics, activities, and due dates.

2. Print out the Instructor contact information.

You never know when you might need to contact the Instructor by e-mail or even by phone. If you are not able to access the course to retrieve this information, you will want to be sure you have it close by for reference.

3. Familiarize yourself with the online classroom.

Take some time to explore the online classroom and its features and functions. You will be more comfortable and efficient with online learning if you know where to locate items in the classroom.

4. Form relationships with your online classmates.

You are encouraged to form professional relationships with your online classmates so that you have a network of people to turn to for support or if you have questions about the course content. Make sure that you have your classmates’ contact information so that you may communicate during the course and after it has ended.

5. Remember that your online colleagues are not exactly like you.

The online classroom includes people from different countries and cultures and who speak different languages. Therefore, if a Discussion posting or e-mail seems unclear or different from what you expect from a classmate, consider that the person may have a different approach to communication and learning than you do.

6. Contact someone when you need assistance.

In the online environment, no one will know if you have a question about an assignment or have a problem with your computer unless you say something. You will be expected to initiate contact with someone, often through e-mail or the phone, to request assistance and seek answers.

7. Participate actively and regularly in the online Discussions.

Dialogue, discussion, and collaboration among students are highly valued by the institution. As a result, you are expected to participate in online Discussion regularly throughout the week (a 7-day timeframe).

8. Adhere to specific due dates for activities.

Online learning is flexible in that you may participate and work on assignments at any hour convenient to you. However, your online courses will have specific due dates each week for participating in Discussion and for submitting written assignments. For example, in one week (a 7-day timeframe) you may be required to participate in Discussion on Day 3 and Day 5 and submit written assignments by Day 7. Check your course Syllabus for such details.

9. Behave with academic integrity and honesty.

Online learners are academic professiona