Online courses are a great (and convenient) way to advance your education. Online courses are much like face-to-face courses because they have to meet high standards of instructional design quality and instruction. The major difference is that online courses are presented using online tools and interaction occurs via discussion boards and online conferencing tools. Follow these steps to help prepare for your online class!
Make sure your computer meets the requirements and that you have the peripherals (printer, speakers, microphone, etc.) and software you need.
Most likely, you will be buying books and researching in your courses. Look at the bookstore and library website so you get acquainted with what is available to you online. If you order your books online remember it can take up to 10 days to get the book to you so plan ahead.
Create an area where you can do your schoolwork. If you like to work in a quiet place with no distractions, take this into account. If you have a desk, clean it up, designate it as your "school space," and make it comfortable. Stock it with items you will need: paper, pens, printer, stapler, etc.
If you have a library near you, visit it to see if it would be a good place to work. You can also find out if they have wifi or computers with Internet access you can use. A strong internet connection will be needed for assessments. Public wifi or hotspots may not guarantee a strong connection.
Just like walking around campus to get an understanding where things are on campus, go to http://www.kumc.edu and learn what is available online. When you get your assigned username and password, log into myKUMC (http://my.kumc.edu) and get an idea of what is in the campus portal. You will find a wealth of information that will help you as an online student.
Find contact information for any offices you might need such as the Help Desk, Enroll and Pay and Student Services.
As soon as you get access to your course, click around to familiarize yourself with all the information available to you.
Read the syllabus at least twice and get familiar with the grading guidelines and expectations of the instructor. Copy all deadlines into your calendar and make reminders if needed. You'll be amazed at how much easier assignments are if you understand what is expected and when it is due.