Today’s blog is provided by student blogger Rebecca! She has been taking NOVA Online classes for two semesters and has some tips for new NOVA Online students.
It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m scrambling to finish a paper by the 5pm deadline. I am just about to submit my paper at 4:55pm but I decide to proofread it one more time. By the time I finish it is a couple minutes after 5pm. Okay, I’ll go submit it now. It’s only two minutes, right? WRONG! As I click on the assignment I am startled to discover that the submission page has disappeared off of blackboard!
Yes, this did actually happened to me last semester. Luckily I emailed the professor and was able to turn in my assignment, although I did lose a lot of points. Don’t let this happen to you!
Online classes are great because they let you have flexibility in your schedule. However without a physical class everyday to remind you what is due, it’s easy to get behind if you don’t pace yourself. My #1 tip for students new to online classes is keep track of your course deadlines and your professor’s policy on deadlines.
Here are five things to look for on your syllabus:
- What day of the week and time are assignments due? The day and time of deadlines may vary for different courses. In my experience most classes have Sunday deadlines but the times may vary. For example, last semester one of my courses had a Sunday 5pm deadline, another had a Sunday 11:59pm deadline and another had a Monday 6am deadline. It’s helpful to write deadlines on a calendar (especially if you are taking multiple courses, so you don’t get caught off guard by a busy week)
- Are there any midweek deadlines? Once in awhile there may be a group project or discussion board posting with a midweek deadline, leaving time later in the week for comments.
- Are there strict deadlines? Some professors have strict weekly deadlines while others will accept all work right up until the course end date.
- Do exams have to be taken during a certain window? Are exams only available for a limited time? Can you take them early or late?
- Does your instructor accept late work? Some instructors will let you turn in work a day or two late if you email them and explain the situation. Other instructors will accept late work but take points off. Others are very strict about deadlines and will not accept work even a minute late.
We’ve all been there: You have a busy week and struggle to find the time. You have last minute computer problems. These things can and will happen. Avoid a stressful situation by learning about your course deadlines and professor’s policy before they do!What do you wish you had known before taking your first NOVA Online class? Is this your first class? What questions do you have about getting started?
Feel free to leave a comment with any advice you have for students new to online learning or any questions you have about getting started!