When I registered for classes last semester, I chose to take an online course in Mass Media. The idea of an online course always interested me, mostly due to the fact that I wouldn’t have to go anywhere to take it. I could just sit in my dorm room, work and not have to worry about doing group discussions in a lecture hall with 20-30 people. From the very beginning of the course in September though, we had problems. For those of us who didn’t purchase the book online before the semester began, we had to rely on the bookstore. The bookstore didn’t get the right order for delivering the book to the University, so most of us had to wait until they came to the store and were ready to purchase to start the assignments. Four weeks later, and we are already way behind on our work. Once I got the book, I just worked on what was scheduled for the week I was in: week five. I planned on completing the others later on in the semester.
By the time the midterm exam came, I found out the assignments from week one to week four were already graded and I had a 28% for a grade because of it. The pressure was already on me before that happened. It skyrocketed after the fact! My problem was not my professor (I’m assuming). I have never talked to my online professor in a person-to-person conversation before, and frankly I wasn’t comfortable with the idea since I’ve never met her or know what she’s like. I could email her, but apparently she only responds to emails if they’re sent with the intention of asking for a one-on-one meeting in person. My real problem was that I didn’t give her a chance to show herself to me. I just avoided her out of partial laziness and a little anxiety. The point I am trying to make here is this: Give your online course professor a chance and try to stay in communication with them. It doesn’t have to be personal unless you get along well with them. It’s professional. They want to help you and are willing to because if they weren’t, they are either well on their way to getting fired or already did get fired. It can be a little intimidating to get to know your professor on a professional basis one-on-one if you aren’t in a classroom filled with multiple people in a lecture hall. Online courses are another animal for both the students and the professor. That’s why communication is important to doing as good as you can be in any online course, because chances are, the professor is having trouble communicating to the students. So before you find yourself getting stressed out like I was, ask whatever questions you have to your professor whether it’s by email or in person and try to stay in communication with them so you don’t get lost when you have trouble.