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Online Degree: Participating in Group Chatrooms

By Amy Brantley

Online classroom chats are a wonderful way for students obtaining an online degree to participate in classroom discussions. These online chats give students a chance to get the most out of their courses while still having the freedom to take the course from home. How do you get the most out of these online chats, though?

Tip #1: Be Prepared

There are a number of different steps you need to take to prepare for an online chat. First of all, study the material. Your instructor will be asking questions and if you have to look up the answer, they'll know. Instead, you should be able to quickly answer a question or give your opinion about the topic. It also helps to take notes as you study the material. This way, you can quickly recall information if you're asked a question by your instructor. Of course, these aren't the only ways to prepare for online chats. You must also make sure you can give your full attention to the chat. This means taking your dog out before the chat begins, using the restroom, and grabbing a cold drink. You don't want to miss out on valuable online chat time by having to leave your computer. Last, but not least, make sure you have the proper software installed, and your Internet speed can keep up with the discussion.

Tip #2: Stay Focused

It may tempting to check your email, look at some online auctions, or even play a video game while the chat is taking place. Unfortunately, you hurt yourself by doing this. Not only do you miss out on valuable discussion, but you may also miss your instructor asking you a question. Instead of surfing the Internet, pay close attention to the chat. Chances are you'll learn more about the topic and you'll be able to quickly answer a question should you get called on.

Tip #3: Participate in the Chat

One thing instructors absolutely love is a student who shows initiative. They want students to add to the discussion without being asked to do so. Instead of waiting for someone to directly ask you a question, ask others questions about the material. You might also talk about your opinions of the subject at hand. For example, you might say, "I feel that the subject is timely in today's economy and people should pay close attention to what happened during the Great Depression so we don't relive our mistakes." Believe it or not, a student who takes the time to go above and beyond is noticed by their instructor. Your instructor might give you the benefit of the doubt if you have a 92.7 and need a 93 to get an A. Your extra effort may help tip the scales in your favor.

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