Okay, sound you did your research, found a school that was right for you, and asked all the right questions. (You didn’t? Then go back and read Part Two and Part One for Pete’s sake.) Now you are ready to enroll in classes and start your first semester.
Getting Ready to Matriculate: So what do you need to do before logging in for your first class? Well I’m glad you asked, because maybe you haven’t gone to school in quite a while. When I went back to finish my degree on line, I hadn’t stepped foot in a classroom in a decade. There was a little ring rust. Here’s how to adequately prepare.
Syllabi – Every class will begin with the professor or instructor giving you a course syllabus. This breaks down all the important info about the class – how many tests there are, how many essays you need to write, when the mid term and final exams are. Also, it tells you the required books for the class, what the professor expects from you, and a general overview about what the course covers. It’s all basic stuff, and you need to get your class syllabus as quickly as you can. Most professors will give you (or email you, in this case) the syllabus as soon as you sign up for the class. If they don’t, write them ASAP and ask for one. Having the course syllabus will help you prepare for the coming semester.
Books – As soon as you know what books you need, order those books! There are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of web sites that sell new and used textbooks. Check around, spend an hour or two cost-comparing, and then get those books ordered! Of course, check with your school to see if they have a book store, and how much they sell the books for, as well. If there are supplemental readings (books that will help you with the class, but aren’t required) check your local libraries to see if they have themto check out.
Computer – Is your laptop or desk top tower all tuned up? Has it been running slowly lately, or crashing on you an inopportune moments? Well go ahead and get that looked at, fixed, or upgraded immediately. Call the Geek Squad if need be. But your computer will be your connection to your education. You will use it for your posting boards, your video lectures, your tests, and to maintain your notes and emails with the school. You NEED a dependable computer, so go ahead and make the investment.
Back-Up – What’s your back up plan, in case the computer crashes on you just before a test, or when something very important is due? Get yourself a plan, it will pay off in the long run. Use the local library and its computer, or your neighbor’s laptop, or go visit your grandmother to use hers. In any event, have yourself a plan for the possibility of your technology undermining you.