How to Stay Connected with Peers as an Online Degree Student
For any college-going student, talking to peers is as easy as glancing over your shoulder to share a thought or idea. For those pursuing an online degree, however, talking to classmates is a totally different ball game.
When one is already struggling with managing a study schedule, collaborating with fellow students becomes quite difficult. However, this is the age of technology, and staying in touch through the right means can make you feel as much in a classroom as actually being there!
Here are some ways through which students of online degrees can telecommute effectively with peers.
Course Discussion Boards
Most online bachelor’s or master’s programs provide students with access to an online students’ portal. Here, one can join groups according to the courses one takes via course discussion boards. Both tutors and students can contribute actively to discussions on this forum related to the coursework, or any other interesting development pertinent to the course.
Many online programs also provide virtual chat rooms where students can network with each other. You can join an existing discussion going on, or start a chat of your own based on any subject. This is a great way of casually ‘talking’ to peers in the online education world.
Sometimes, an assignment may have to be completed in a group rather than individually. For times like these, applications like Google Docs are nothing short of a blessing. Through this, students can share a document online and invite each other to make and save changes to it. It makes coordination and sharing files seem like a piece of cake!
Social Networking Sites
Millions of people network on social media today. They are active on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Online students can create Facebook pages for their course groups and invite all fellow students to it to share more informal ideas and even jokes. Other websites such as YouTube can also be worthwhile for these students as they can upload presentations and videos related to their courses and share with others.
Web/ Video Conferencing
Certain courses may be offered via videoconferencing fully or partially. A specific date and time is set to schedule a video conferencing class or lecture, whereby students from various states and countries log on to share a lecture. This can be quite interactive and pretty similar to an actual classroom. Students can also arrange this on their own through online services such as Skype.
There will always be the good, ol’ reliable email for any and everyone. While you may tend to take it for granted, never underestimate its power of getting you in touch with not only fellow students and tutors, but the administrative staff of your online college as well!
Anyone in the Neighborhood?
If you are lucky, there may be someone taking the same online course as you just down the road. Don’t forget to ask fellow online students if anyone could be close by in the neighborhood. The two of you now (or even more) could get together at the local library or any other meeting point to discuss your progress.
Though you may feel isolated when pursuing a degree online, there are means of maintaining the ‘classroom’ feel to quite an extent. Work with technology and make your experience as enjoyable as a real one!