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Tips for Successfully Completing a Virtual Course at BrightMinds Online School

While the majority of our students complete their online studies with the desired level of achievement, some students struggle to complete the online course on a positive note. You might wonder, what is the secret of those who succeed in the course? What are some of the common mistakes of those who struggle? Here are a few things to consider for successful completion of a course at BrightMinds Online School.

Tips for Success:

  1. Register On Time: At BrightMinds Online School, we have well-defined semesters. Our Fall, Winter, and Spring courses have 11 weeks of instruction and 1 week of examination. Our summer courses have 6 weeks of instruction and 1 week of examination. Registering for a course in a timely manner means that you will have access to the course content for the maximum time allowed. In a sense, it is like watching a movie. Missing the first few minutes does not necessarily mean that you will not understand or enjoy the show, but your experience will not be the same as a person who had a chance to watch the movie from the beginning to the end.
  2. Review the Syllabus: At BrightMinds Online School, each course has its own unique syllabus. The syllabus highlights four important information:
    • The main concepts covered in the course;
    • Units of study and their sequence of delivery;
    • Duration of each unit of study;
    • Important assessment and evaluation activities of each unit.Reviewing the course syllabus gives you a comprehensive understanding of what the course is all about. It enables you to plan your study ahead of time.
  3. Create Your Own Schedule: All courses at BrightMinds Online School are self-paced. That is, within the designated weeks of instruction, you can learn at your own pace and in accordance with your own schedule and availability. With the freedom comes the opportunity of practicing your time management and goal setting skills. One of the secrets of successful students is their ability to create a custom schedule for their studies. How do they achieve this?
    • Mark your calendar with the course start and end date.
    • Highlight the exam week.
    • Use the tentative schedule offered in the course to block the duration of time designed for completion of each unit of study.
    • Create a list of all the important assignments. You can customize the list even further by classifying the assignments as “easy to do” and “require more time and attention”.
    • Add any other important date to your calendar. Maybe you are invited to a social event in the third week of your studies or are going away for a few days with your family at the end of the course.Creating a full picture of all your major commitments for the duration of the course enables you to plan and manage your time accordingly. For example, your calendar might indicate that you have more free time in the first two weeks of the course but the third week will be busy with other commitments and responsibilities. This information signals to you to study ahead and review some of the material designed for week 3, during week 1 and 2.
  4. Reach out to Your e-Instructor: At BrightMinds Online School, each course has an e-learning instructor. You can connect with your instructor through the messaging system of the e-learning portal as well as meeting him/her online during the live sessions. Your instructor is always there to help answer your academic questions, clarify concepts and guide you in the right direction. Successful students take the time to establish a rapport with their e-instructors. Keeping your instructor informed of your progress enables them to provide timely and specific feedback to support your learning.
  5. Take Advantage of the Live Sessions: In each BrightMinds online course, you have the opportunity to schedule yourself for up to three 15 to 20 minutes online one-on-one live sessions with your e-instructor. This is a great opportunity to not only meet your instructor but to ask questions, seek help, clarify concepts, discuss your progress and develop a better understanding of where you are and how you can improve to reach your academic goal. Successful students often schedule one live session
    • early on in the course to develop a better understanding of the course expectations;
    • halfway through the course to discuss their progress;
    • towards the end to prepare for the final exam.
  6. Plan Your Final Project: The majority of courses at BrightMinds Online School have a final project as part of their 30% summative evaluation. The final project is available to you from day 1 of the course. Successful students plan on completing the project parallel to the course and use the live sessions as an opportunity to share their progress and receive feedback.
  7. Have a Plan B: Sometimes, despite the best of planning and execution, the unexpected happens. You might become sick or would need to take time off to deal with a family emergency. Having planned your studies ahead of time should leave you with some buffer to catch up but successful students take one more step by creating a plan B. What if I am unable to catch up? Knowing your options help in this case. At BrightMinds Online School, you can ask for 2 or 4 weeks of extension in case of such unexpected emergencies.
  8. Take Advantage of the Re-Submission Policy: At the end of the semester and upon successful completion of all your evaluation activities, you are given a chance to resubmit one of your weakest work (except for the final project and for the final exam). Successful students take advantage of this opportunity to improve their achievement.

To succeed in an online course, you should plan ahead of time, follow the plan as closely as possible and identify your points of contact and reach out to them on a regular basis. A successful student takes control of his/her studies from day one. They show responsibility, commitment, and initiative as well as great time management and goal setting skills.

Students who struggle in a course often do not plan ahead, have irregular patterns of study and leave their work until the last minute.