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Student Survival Guide

Essay by   •  December 26, 2010  •  2,106 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,439 Views

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When a person recognizes that in order to earn what they are worth and secure their dreams they are going to first have to secure additional skills and education. Distance learning is an efficient way to attend school when you cannot quit your day job to attend college. Once the student decides that, it is time to continue their education such as myself, in today's information rich environment there are many options to choose from. First, you must choose the school and format that fits best with your abilities and available time.

Once the student has decided upon and applied to the College or University that they will be enrolling in, that the student then logs into the site where they will be receiving and submitting their coursework. It is imperative that the student familiarizes themselves with the forums with which he/she will be expected to interact. It is also important to log into the classes that you will be attending so you may view the course requirements, overviews, syllabus, and any other important information. In addition, you want to familiarize yourself with the college or university's policy statements pertaining to participation and attendance requirements, student rights and responsibilities, and use of class forums and other resources.

Before your first day of class, you should survey the workspace that is to be your classroom. Whether that classroom is a desk that is tucked into a space or, if you are fortunate enough to devote to a home office, you will want to prepare that space for the tasks ahead. By this I mean, clean it up! Tidy away any stacks of paper or other materials that clutter most desks. Establish a filing system for all of the papers and various articles that you need to keep on or near your desk.

If you do not currently have one, purchase an inexpensive printer for your office. The printer that you select need not be a top of the line model, maybe one that is on sale in order to minimize the cost of your new hardware. You will more than likely feel the need to print out a good-sized proportion of the documents and reference materials that you will need to keep handy. You will need to refer back to these documents on a regular basis. Also, pick up a three ring binder, for those documents and reference materials, which will continue with you throughout most or your entire course of study. In addition, you will need a three-hole punch and tabbed dividers for your binder. Not all of those items are necessary for a student to be a success at distance learning, but if you can invest that small amount, you will find that your organizational ability and that the ease of locating reference documents will repay your investment many times over.

Learning to navigate your student platform should be done no less than a day or two before the first day of school. When first accessing your class forums, you should find at least three separate forums provided to you. Your "class forum", your "chat forum", your "private forum", and a class materials link should also be included. In your Course Materials section, you should easily find a two links labeled "Course Syllabus" one in PDF format the other in Plain Text. There should also be a course overview and description. The plain text Syllabus will allow you to link to the listed resources. The first and much less involved syllabus you need to print out, as its most useful function is to provide the weekly overview of materials you will need and links to access these resource materials. Usually the links will be imbedded in the text that describes the document or site. The second and more descriptive course syllabus will provide for you all of the specifics required to complete each assignment and then post it to the correct specific forum, either individual or main forum. The only required post for the Chat forum will be your student biography. This second course syllabus you will want to print out, punch, and save in your binder for successful completion of your assignments.

After you print and bind this syllabus in your three ring binder, keep it in a handy and easy to access location, as you will need to refer to it quite often. Each week before the class week begins; it is a good idea to read the section of the syllabus that refers to that week to familiarize oneself with the expectations and assignments of the upcoming week.

In order to fulfill the expectations of your instructors and to complete your final project for each course you will need to do research for topical data to include in your final essay assignments. Essay formatting is also one, which provides for checkpoints at regular intervals along the course to insure that you are able to keep up with the instruction and the pace at of the class. One of these will be the student library, which can be found on the college's website. The library, functions in a wonderfully more efficient and readily accessible fashion than a traditional university library. It will provide multiple databases and search options for locating the materials that you will need. In order to perform a "successful" search it is often helpful to brainstorm on your topic or search term before doing the actual search. Whether you brainstorm in a word processing program or on paper, you will need to take copious notes of the terms that you search and the results which you may wish to refer back to in the future.

A good rule to follow, when searching the web trying to brainstorm ideas is to ignore the sponsored links and begin your search for relevant articles among the Search results, which will be listed below the "Sponsored Links."

When conducting library searches you will find yourself confronted by a multitude of databases. The easiest way to start your search there is to first select the database in which you will begin your search. To select that database read the descriptions, which are provided to describe the types of resources that are contained within. You will want to search multiple databases to be thorough in your search. It is important to weed out the articles that have little or nothing to do with your essay topic. Then you will want to mark and place into your library "folder" all of the articles which do pertain to your topic. However, not all of these articles will provide good reference material for formal referencing or paraphrasing in the body of your essay, one of the main purposes of reading through these articles is to gain a better understanding on the topic of your paper.

Academic honesty is not difficult at all, as it simply means, to my understanding, do not submit work that was written by anyone else as your own. Do not engage in plagiarism of any type or in any form. If you use someone else's words at all within



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