Ways to Connect with Your Peers While Going to College Online – And Why You Should

November 3rd, 2016 by

College Student on LaptopSometimes students in online classes find themselves feeling isolated, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways to connect with your peers to find support and encouragement as well as opportunities to support your classmates in return. Find out how valuable being connected to your classmates is and a few tips to help you get started.

Online Classes are great for so many reasons. Some of these include being able to keep working at your current job while you go to school, not having to commute to campus to be in class, and being able to set your schedule so that you can more easily fit studying into your life. However, one of the pitfalls of the online classroom is becoming overwhelmed and feeling all alone.

Luckily, there are some easy fixes to help you get connected and feel like a valuable part of your class. By staying active in class, you reap the benefits not only of building relationships with your instructor and classmates, you learn a lot from the experience of active participation.

Log in to Class at Least Once Each Day

It’s very important to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your class even though you are there as a virtual student. Often your instructor will post an announcement or post an update about an assignment that can be enormously valuable. This is enough reason for you to make it a habit to check in to see what’s going on every day. This will keep you well informed and help you feel part of the every-day action.

Participate in Class to Create Interest and Motivation

Most online classes put great value on the class discussions and offer points for participation as a way to motivate students to get actively involved and participate with each other. These discussions revolve around the subject matter of the course.

Often the instructor posts specific questions or topics for students to respond to and discuss. There is a monumental value to these discussions because as you share what you have learned by studying the lessons, you will also gain insight from your peers regarding what they have learned.

Your classmates will sometimes have a completely different perspective than you do and therefore will enhance your knowledge of the subject. Respectful disagreement also leads to interest and helps you stay motivated to learn more. So, do yourself a favor and be an active participant in the open discussions in your online classroom.

Utilize the Chat Room to Make Personal Connections

It is likely that your online class will also give you access to a chat room, which is an informal area that allows you to communicate with your classmates in a more personal manner. Using the chat room is usually not a requirement of the course, but it is a great place to connect and find friends that you can discuss your assignments with. You can share ideas and suggestions that can be very helpful to you.

Finding like-minded students that you feel a connection with is a great benefit for you. You can use the chat room to share ideas and offer suggestions and encouragement to each other. Many students find others with whom they share a major and thus will share future courses together.

Having friends that you get to know on a more personal level goes a long way in helping students feel a part of a class rather than a lone participant in the online course.

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About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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