How to survive online classes

Stories - Computer Screen BandagesAlthough most nurses have heard of the online RN to BSN programs, they are not the only form of online teaching that a nursing student is likely to encounter.

In fact, many colleges now have a wide variety of their course material, particularly mandatory courses, online.

If you are computer savvy, you are in luck, but it takes more than a bit of computer know how to pass an online class.  You have to focus more when you take a class online because it is easy to get distracted.

You should make sure that your computer is in a quiet place, relatively free of distraction.

This may sound impossible, but trying to take a class in front of the TV doesn’t work well for most people.

You need to be organized as well, and that means knowing when the assignments are due, making plans to come to online chats, and finding ways to communicate with your instructor.  It is easy to miss out on these events and learning opportunities when you are free to come and go as you will.

In most cases, you should work along with the class, and do not leave work for right at the end.  Procrastination is a not a good trait in a nursing student, but it can be particularly bad for those who take classes online.

If you leave all of your work for the end, you are going to stress yourself and likely not learn very much.

This is where time management becomes a key to the success of the nursing student, and nothing really brings that out like managing a class online.

As said before, computer savvy people are likely to take well to online classes, but you can get by, even if you only know how to turn on the computer and work the mouse.  You should make sure that your computer is the most up to date version you can afford.

That doesn’t mean that you need to run out and buy a computer, and often second hand computers are enough for the relatively low technical demands of online classes.

The newer your computer is, though, the easier it will be to navigate the course material, so you need to find a compromise that works for you.

You should be connected to the internet, as well, preferably through a high-speed connection.  If you only have dial-up connectivity, you’re going to experience a great deal of problems loading even the most basic web site nowadays.

Fortunately, you can find ways to get cheap internet, such as through your cable company or by way of “pay as you go” hot spots that can give you all of the power for the least amount of buck.

As for what’s on your computer, it helps to have some program that can read Microsoft documents and presentations, in addition to Adobe Acrobat files.  You don’t need the expensive products to use these file types, because most can be read by open source, or free, programs such as Open Office

Another consideration is the memory of your computer.  The hard drive is one thing, and that needs to have enough room for your files.

However, RAM memory is a part of the computer that determines how fast the machine can process information, and it is best to get as much of this as possible.  If you are buying a new computer, be sure to compare RAM amounts, but if you have an older computer, getting an upgrade could be cheaper than buying a brand new computer.

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