I can’t follow my online class. What do I do?

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Don’t worry. Help is always available.

How do I start a class?

  1. Go to the Course Page. You will find:
    • what the course is about
    • the date and time the course starts
    • instructions on how to start
    • what you will need. It will say if you need to have software (for example Skype or Big Blue Button), an email account or other requirements.
    • the name of your teacher or e-facilitator
    • links for support
  2. Bookmark the Course Page. This saves the page so that you can easily go back to it.
  3. Check your email.
    • It will say if you are registered.
    • Get instructions on how to start and other details.
    • Get passwords or links that you may need to enter the site and join the class.
    • Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
    • Call or send an email to your instructor at any time.

How do I prepare for an online class?

Write your learning goals. It will be your guide. Goals will push you to learn.

Other things you can do to prepare:

  • Check your computer before the class starts. Get your headset ready.
  • Get needed software and apps. Test them and know how to use them.
  • Find a good place to study. A quiet, orderly place is good.
  • Schedule your study time. Set time for attending the class, reading, studying and doing assignments (if there are). Make a study routine.
  • Join the forum. Introduce yourself before the class starts.
  • Read the Course Page for links to resources and references.

Something is wrong. How do I get technical help?

  1. Anticipate technical problems
    • test everything before the class starts
    • check your computer and internet connection
    • check if everything plugged in and turned on
    • have a second device if possible. A tablet or smart phone are good back-ups in case your laptop does not work.
  2. Get technical help
    • Read the Frequently Asked Questions.
    • Ask your instructor for help. There will always be online support in an online class.
    • Technical problems happen all the time. Don’t be shy. Ask for help when you need it.

How do I push myself to study?

  1. Start with SMART goals (read Setting English learning goals the SMART way). Outcomes can motivate you.
  2. Discipline is part of self-directed learning. Develop discipline by:
    • having good study habits. Set a routine or study schedule
    • working in a quiet study area
    • being organized. Keep your study materials close by and easy to find
    • Check your improvement. Results will motivate you!

I feel that I’m alone. How do I connect with others?

There are many ways to connect with others when you’re in an online class. You can:

  • Join the online forum. Ask questions, share your opinions and resources (read Why you should join online forums).
  • Use Skype, FaceTime, and other similar apps to talk with your instructor or classmates.
  • Email your instructor if you have questions, comments and suggestions.
  • Start your own online community. Make a Yahoo, Google or Facebook group for your class.

Maybe it’s not for me?

  1. Give it time:
    • Your digital skills will get better the more you attend online classes.
    • You will develop learning skills as you adjust.
  2. Start small

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