Student Self-Evaluation and Parent SupportThe privilege to do most of your
coursework any time and any where you have an Internet connection
provides you with some unique opportunities and equally unique
responsibilities for managing your own time and completing your course
The most common reason why students
do not do well in an online course is because they do not develop a
plan for successful time management and task completion.
There is no single personality profile that guarantees a person will be
a success in an online course. You don't have to be a technical wizard
or a super-brain. In fact, some students who have not done well in the
traditional classroom have found that online classes are just the thing
for them. If the following statements apply to you (be honest) then you
have a good chance at doing well in the online environment.
- I am self-motivated and self-disciplined
-- recognize that you are the primary person responsible for your own
success and act accordingly in your priority setting and
decision-making. Once you get behind in an online course it can be
difficult to catch up again, so don't let things slide.
- I am not afraid of doing things on the computer
-- your online class will require you to be comfortable using email, an
Internet browser, and a word processor (at the very least). You may
also need to install and configure some software or hardware for your
class. If you are not currently comfortable doing these things, then
you must have a willingness to learn how to do them and be willing to
put in a little extra effort to increase your own technical skills.
- I can enlist support from people around me when I need it
-- talk with your parent/guardian and your friends about ways they can
help you stay on-track with your course work. Invite your
parent/guardian to take a look at your course site and keep them
informed of course calendar events, assignments, and other course
- I will schedule regular work sessions
-- plan a regular weekly schedule for accessing your course site and
completing course requirements and then stick to it. Some parts of the
schedule will be set by your course instructor (i.e. class chat
sessions and/or labs) but most of the time it will be up to you when
you access your course site. You should plan on doing 1-2 hours per day
of course work for your online course.
- I want to participate as much as possible
-- since your course instructor and fellow students will not be seeing
you face-to-face for most class interaction, it is very important for
you to contribute to the chat sessions and discussion boards. Go beyond
the minimum that your course instructor requests for online involvment.
- I can maintain open communication with my instructor
-- contact your instructor immediately with any questions about course
content or assignments. Let the instructor know if you are having any
difficulty accessing the course or course materials, or if you donít
understand what you are supposed to do.
- I am willing to share my own experiences and listen to others
-- all participants in an online course (instructor and students) can
learn and benefit from the life, work, and school experiences of the
other participants. You will have some insights about course topics and
discussions that are uniquely yours. Sharing them may be the catalyst
for someone else to learn something new and wonderful. By the same
token, someone else's contribution may provide you with new ideas and
exciting new challenges.
- I take time to think ideas through before responding
-- this may be difficult in the chatroom where things occasionally get
a little chaotic, but it is especially important when responding to
email and discussion items. Treat the communications opportunities in
your course with the seriousness that they deserve, since meaningful
and quality input from all participants in the online classroom is a
necessary part of the learning process and benefits everyone.
When you register for a Northern Star Online course, you will be asked to complete a survey as
part of the Student Orientation process. The survey information will
help us determine how best to support you in being a successful online
A Special Note for Parents & Guardians of Online Students:
Your involvement can play a big part in helping your student achieve
success in their online courses. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to
take an active role in learning about the activities that will be
required for course completion. Course Instructors will welcome contact
with you and be happy to discuss your student's progress in their
courses, so don't hesitate to contact them if you have any questions.
Specific things that you can do to help your student include:
- review all registration and course information with your student
- help set up a good work space for the computer in your home
- help your student set up a regular schedule for working on their assignments
- be aware of when chat sessions are scheduled and help minimize schedule conflicts
- ask questions about how the class is going and what your student is working on
- contact NSO administrators or course instructors if you have any questions