10 Helpful Tips to be Successful in Your VirtualSC Course
Hello! My name is Nikki Scott, and I teach science courses with VirtualSC. I hope you had a wonderful summer. Here are a few tips for getting started on the right track for the 2017-2018 school year when taking courses through VirtualSC.
Know the technology requirements.
All VirtualSC courses require internet access and have minimum technology requirements in order to successfully access courses. It is very important that you have reliable internet service from home, school, or a public library. Many software programs need to be updated in order to be successful.
It is important to set realistic goals when you begin a school year. What would you like to accomplish, and how do you plan to get there? Make a plan to achieve your goals.
Know the course expectations.
Teachers at VirtualSC realize that you are taking courses through VirtualSC in addition to the courses that you are taking in your regular educational environment. We send a syllabus, pacing guide, and welcome letter so you understand the rigor that is involved in taking a course through VirtualSC. It is important to read all the materials sent by your teacher. Online courses are challenging and require self-discipline.
Manage your time well.
Your online course through VirtualSC will move at a rapid pace. You will have other work to complete from your regular educational environment. It is important to set aside time to devote to completing VirtualSC assignments, activities, and readings. When you do not see the teacher on a daily basis, it can be easy to procrastinate. Don’t procrastinate!
You are not alone.
Just because you are taking your course online does not mean that your teacher is not available for guidance and support. In your course, on the pacing guide, and in the welcome letter you will see that your teacher has their office hours posted. This is a good time to contact them for help on assignments. If you have questions outside of your teacher’s office hours, you may still call (leave a detailed voice message) or send an email and your teacher will contact you the next time they hold office hours. VirtualSC teachers are here to support you throughout the learning process.
Create an optimal learning environment.
In an online learning environment, the student has more control over where s/he chooses to complete assignments and learn content. This may consist of a place where you feel most comfortable, but make sure it is quiet and the lighting is good. You may also want your environment to be clean, so it may be helpful to do a little light housework in your learning environment.
Use good study habits.
It is important that you develop good study habits in all of your courses. You should devote enough time to learning the content where you feel comfortable not only recalling but applying the material. Determine what subjects and content you have previously had difficulty with and need to devote more time to, what study strategies have been effective for you in the past, and what the course requires of you presently. It is beneficial to study each day rather than cramming prior to testing.
Take advantage of study resources.
Your teacher is a huge resource that some online learners forget to take advantage of. Teachers at VirtualSC are more than willing to help in the learning process. Your parents/guardians are a secondary resource that you should utilize. Some courses at VirtualSC have tutoring services available when the teacher is not holding office hours. Teachers are willing to share internet resources that will benefit students in learning content that is supplemental to resources shared within assignments. Know and take advantage of the resources available to you.
Step out of your comfort zone.
Students can feel isolated in an online learning environment, but teachers at VirtualSC strive to create a community of learners in each course. Collaboration occurs in different ways including teacher to student and student to student. VirtualSC courses utilize discussion forums, blogs, and other activities to stimulate collaboration. It is easy to do the bare minimum, but the learning process will enrich your life if you step out of your comfort zone and become an active participant.
It is very important to communicate issues or concerns with your teacher. It is also important to your teacher for you to communicate the successes that you experience in your course. Remember, you are not bothering a teacher when you reach out to them for any reason. Teachers at VirtualSC are here to serve students. We love hearing from you and want to assist in any way possible.
These tips are suggestions and because everyone is different, use the ones that best suit your needs. If you have strategies that work for you already, continue to use them in order to be successful. At VirtualSC, students are at the center of every decision we make. The tips listed above may help you with the skills and characteristics necessary for successfully completing courses through VirtualSC. I wish you the very best success during the 2017-2018 school year!