Online Student: How to Participate Effectively for Maximum Success

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“Conversation is the most powerful learning technology ever invented” – Jay Cross

There’s no doubt that while online education can be an immensely rewarding experience. some students may find themselves feeling alone in their endeavors. Not only can this make a student feel isolated and more likely to quit, it can also negatively impact their progress in their chosen course. On the flip side, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement, the success of a student is directly linked to the level of their involvement. Furthermore, evaluation of participation is a key method employed by professors in determining if students are keeping pace with the requirements of a course. So how exactly does a student go about building bridges from the island they may find themselves on to begin participating fully with their peers?


Perhaps one of the best things about online learning is the plethora of ways that a student can participate or, termed another way, contribute. Let’s take a look at some of the typical mediums that students can take advantage of to fully engage with their classmates.


– Complete Assignments

It’s probably a no-brainer to state that all students should ensure that they complete their assignments and required reading. In doing so, the knowledge gained will allow a student to fully participate with the strength of informed knowledge behind them.

– Attend Seminars

Online study typically involves real time seminars where all students log in at an assigned time to a collaborative workspace. Sessions may include video, audio, and possibly live chat. These online seminars provide students with an excellent opportunity to engage both their peers and their professors.

– Discussion Boards

Online courses are no different from face to face classes in so far to say that many students will benefit from the use of a discussion board. In fact this medium is so useful that it is often a requirement of the course to be involved. Typically a question will be posted by the course professor in order that course students can post an original response of their own as well as respond to the responses of other students.

– Q & As

The majority of online courses will facilitate a question and answer function whereby students can pose questions relating to the course or topics studied. Answers may come directly from the course faculty or, given that it is an open forum, from other students. Responding to questions posed in a Q&A area can go a long way toward demonstrating that a student is actively engaged in a course.

– Study Group

Many college professors support students to set up their own study group. If offered, this should definitely be taken advantage of. If an institution lacks the facilities for a study group to take place, students can take the initiative and set one up for themselves. A closed group on the popular social media platform Facebook is ideal for the purposes of an informal study group.

Effective participation will not only have a positive impact on a student’s potential grades, it will greatly improve the overall experience of online learning.

How will you get involved today?

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