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Tips for Online Learners

Online learning provides professional students a convenient way to pursue their Master's degree and continue working within their community. Engineering Online at Illinois provides a wide range of courses and degrees for students who do not have access to the on campus courses. The course that is being taught online is the exact same course that is being taught on campus. Therefore, they are not self-paced. Students are required to complete homework and exams on the same day that on campus students. The benefit is that students have the flexibility to watch the lectures and do the readings as it fits into their daily schedule (or weekly schedule if no assignments are exam are due for that week).

Online students are held to the same academic standards as the on campus students. The main difference for the online learners is that they are not physically here on campus and will not have the face-to-face interaction with the other students, professor, or TA. Online students who are close to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus may arrange with their professor to complete the exam with the on campus section or attend lectures few times throughout the semester.

Successful online learners are self-motivated and self-disciplined. Take a moment to read through some characteristics of successful online learners.

  • Can work independently with minimal face-to-face interactions with the professor to TA.
  • Can effectively manage time to meet the demands of work, family, and coursework deadlines.
  • Can effectively communicate questions or concerns to the professor or TA via email, chat room, or phone conversation.
  • Avoids procrastination.
  • Is comfortable being in a class setting that has no face-to-face interaction with other students, the professor, or TA.
  • Self-motivator and persistant.
  • Excellent reader.
  • Strong computer skills - Microsoft Office, downloading software, connecting remotely to applications, participating in chats rooms or blogs, etc.
  • Back-up plan if something happens to your computer. Students must have access to a computer at all times.