Five Tips for Online College Students

After many years of teaching online college students at all levels, I have begun to notice patterns of behavior which are just completely frustrating.  So I thought I would devise some tips based on these patterns that I as well as some colleague of mine have noted.  To that end, I bring to you:

Five Tips for Online College Students (in no particular order):

  1. Just do you work. Professors are tired of hearing all the excuses.  Many of us have worked in higher education for a long time.  We have heard it all.  If you put half as much effort into doing your work as you put into your excuses, you would have your classwork done in half the time.
  2. When you are rude to your professor, it puts you on his or her radar.  In other words, the rudeness is a signal to us that perhaps you may be hiding something.  Most often, we find it means there might have been some plagiarism or cheating occurring.  In other words, we see the rudeness as a potential deflector from the main issue.
  3. Do not copy and paste material into your writing. Copying and pasting means you likely did not learn anything.  A copy machine can copy.  Glue can be used to paste.  Neither of those things have brains or are capable of critical things.  All copying and pasting information into papers suggests to us is that you know how to copy and paste.
  4. When you think you are a know-it-all and argue with your professor, it makes them less inclined to want to help you. Know-it-alls are not there to learn, so why should a professor put any effort into supporting your success?  It is sort of like an athlete who is not considered coachable.  You are in college to learn, so do not act like you know everything already.  You do not.
  5. Read the assignment instructions, grading rubrics, and any announcements your instructor posts. Nearly all of the mistakes college students make are made because they simply do not take the time to read.

That’s all for now folks, but there may be more later!

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