classes, whether in K– 12 education or higher education. A syllabus provides a clear
picture of what is expected in the course,
deadlines for assignments, materials needed, etc. Reading through this information
and any other course start-up information
is essential for a student’s success.
If the student does not understand an
assignment or a course expectation, he
should contact the instructor. Communication is a critical element of success!
Most instructors welcome questions and
want to help their students succeed.
3. Early in the course, prepare a binder
that can hold pertinent information such
as a syllabus, class schedule, instructor contact information, graded assignments, etc.
4. Each course will be different, with
different deadlines and requirements.
Therefore, a student should devise a basic schedule to follow throughout the
course. If a student is taking more than
one class, he may or may not have the
same schedules in those classes.
Use Microsoft Outlook, a planner, or
another calendar tool to print out weekly
calendars. Then take a look at the class
schedule and make a note of major dead-
lines, discussion deadlines, etc. This will
be a tremendous help throughout the
course and especially at the beginning
of the course. I often encourage my stu-
dents to print out a schedule for the en-
tire semester (or quarterly if that is more
manageable). Then, literally record every
deadline on that calendar. This will help
a student see the big picture of what he
or she will need to complete throughout
and want to help their
5. While online learning does provide
flexibility in regard to time and space, it
still requires good organization and reg-
ular participation. Therefore, a student
should work on the course daily. Unless
the student is on a scheduled break, it is
essential that he or she log into the course
daily during the school week. Encour-
age your student to check for any emails
that the instructor might have sent, new
information about upcoming assign-
ments that have been posted, new grades
that have been posted, and additional an-
nouncements from the instructor.
Brandy Chandler is a homeschool mom of
two, with more than nine years of experience as an online educator. In addition to
teaching online, she enjoys spending time
with her family, writing, and jogging.