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woman studying on computer, Berkeley College, Berkeley College Online

Berkeley Professor Discusses Keys to Success When Taking Online Courses



woman studying on computer, Berkeley College, Berkeley College Online


Every day, a significant number of students are turning their attention to the internet as a convenient way to pursue a degree in the career of their dreams. While it can be empowering for students to earn a degree through distance learning, taking online courses is nonetheless a very different experience than the traditional classroom. Students considering online college need to understand the challenges that come with an online learning environment.

Berkeley College Online® Chair of Liberal Arts Roseann Torsiello has seen first-hand how life-changing online college can be for busy students, but she says there are issues that accompany online classes. According to Torsiello, one significant challenge students face in this environment is maintaining a close connection to the materials and the instructor. “The online learner is basically alone with his or her computer, so an online instructor should make sure to reach out regularly to the online student in order to help the student feel more connected and experience a sense of community,” she explained. It’s a challenge of which students might not intuitively be aware, but one that can be a major factor for success in their classes.

Students also need to be smart about managing their time and energy when taking online courses. Torsiello emphasizes that online classes often require more time and energy than typical on-site courses, so managing those resources is an important skill to have. She notes that making a schedule and sticking to it, as well as keeping course materials organized, will go a long way toward finding success in an online class.

When it comes to staying on top of assignments and earning good grades, Torsiello advises online students to focus on some of these keys to success in online classes:

- Be organized. Create a weekly schedule for assignments, noting due dates. It’s also helpful to determine how long you will need for each assignment so you can plan ahead. Sometimes unexpected things happen, so you have to be ready with a Plan B.

- Check your email regularly. Announcements or updates can appear at any time. It’s always important to be aware of what’s happening in your class.

- Reserve a quiet place to study at home, the library, or wherever you can find a place to complete your work successfully.

- Connect with your instructors early and often. Response times may vary from same day to 24-48 hours later.

In addition, Torsiello notes that being comfortable with technology is an important factor for students enrolling in online classes. Students should familiarize themselves with frequently used programs and applications to be able to complete assigned work for classes efficiently.

Despite the challenges, Torsiello points out that online classes are very appealing for many students. “For many students with busy schedules, home or family responsibilities, transportation issues, or full-time employment, online learning is the key to their ability to earn degrees.”

The versatility and opportunity provided by online courses has made Berkeley College Online a strong choice for students seeking lifelong success in dynamic careers. If you’re prepared to take the next step and begin your pursuit of a online college degree, apply now and start your journey towards the career you want.