The First Week
You've made it to your course home page, and now it's "Week 1." Just like you'd show up for that first lecture class, it's now up to you to let your instructor and classmates know that you're "here" and ready to start to work. In most cases, you'll do that by sending your instructor an email message, or by posting an introduction to one of the computer conferences for your course. You might be asked to respond to another classmate's introduction - it's a way of getting to know each other. You'll also have the opportunity to practise some of the online learning skills you need in order to be successful in this new learning environment. And you'll likely begin to work on some learning activities designed to introduce you to the subject you're studying. If it seems like a lot - it is! But our most successful students jump right in and get started on the very first day of "class."
Actually, managing your time is a very important skill for online students. During this first week, it's a good idea to get an overview of all the assignments and activities you're responsible for in the course, and to look at the coursework timeline and due dates. When you study online - as opposed to coming on campus for a lecture - it's easier for lots of other activities to crop up and keep you from getting to your work. While you can choose the time - day or night - to get online, you'll still need to schedule in those 10 hours per week in order to keep up. We've learned that offering a weekly schedule can be just the help students need to keep progressing and finish what they've started.
You can find out more about the skills of successful online learners. This list will help you to identify the areas you might need some extra help with in getting ready to be a successful online learner.