Virtual Classroom –
The Experience

Just as instructors take role call in colleges and universities, your attendance is also documented in the virtual classroom.

You will be recorded as a “no show” if you do not log in to your course website or posting board that first day of class.

Depending upon the speed of your internet connection and ISP, you may want to do this earlier in the day so as to get credit and prevent yourself from being bumped off the class roster. After that, log in daily to check for notices from your instructor or important upcoming deadlines.

Most of your time will be spent reading online learning class textbooks, notes, and material, as well as working on your assignments. Thus, having your texts on the first day is essential as you will probably have coursework due.

When formatting your distance learning course work, you won’t necessarily follow APA guidelines. You still need to indicate quotes and reference materials, but when setting up your page, use 1″ margins and do not use the Tab key to indent your paragraphs. Instead, put a solid line between your paragraphs and keep your text single spaced. Use hard returns instead of spacing down with the Enter key. In the top left corner of your first page, type your name, address, course name and section number, professor’s name, date, and assignment name/number. Compose your assignments in a word processing program (like Microsoft Word) which makes it easier to find spelling and grammatical mistakes than an email.

As for the actual “classroom” itself, be prepared to work primarily off an interactive website, posting board, blog, or telecast. Most schools have made their online learning sites easy to navigate, with separate links for past lectures, notes, discussion forums, and even the occasional podcast. As instructors tend to take test questions from these forums, it is recommended to read each section thoroughly in order to prepare.

As stated earlier, class participation is key. Just like posting on any chat board or forum, you are expected to be polite to your instructor and fellow classmates in every post and refrain from being antagonistic towards others when you disagree with their statements. Keep your posts relevant to the course and the material you are learning, and actively engage in intelligent discussion with your classmates to earn class participation points.

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