Student Self-Evaluation and Parent Support
The privilege to do most of your coursework anytime and anywhere you have an Internet connection provides you with some unique opportunities and equally unique responsibilities for managing your own time and completing your course assignments.
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. Please refer to our Expectations page for more information and tips for Online learning.
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 requirements.
- 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 don’t 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 student.
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