What are some Tips for Success for Veterans in Online Classes?

Online classes are a fantastic opportunity for a veteran, especially since this style of learning is just as effective as traditional class time. However, many military personnel aren’t well prepared for learning in a virtual classroom. Use these tips for success to help guide your initial experiences.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill 2015

The Argument in Favor of Online Learning

Earning a degree often smooths the transition from active duty to civilian life, and military benefits definitely make the process easier. Most veterans who decide to go back to school are juggling multiple responsibilities like part- or full-time work and a family in addition to their studies. Consequently, they are drawn to the flexibility of online learning.

Online degree programs also appeal to veterans because of their frequently nomadic lifestyle. Military personnel who are still on active duty may like having the ability to keep up with their studies regardless of where their career takes them. Whether they are in Kansas or the Middle East, they can continue to work toward a degree.

Many vets also have difficulty transitioning from active duty to college campus life. It’s difficult for them to relate to other students who may be very young and inexperienced. Again, this makes online learning a much more attractive option.

Tips for Ensuring Veteran Success in Online Classes

Online degree programs may appeal to veterans, but this doesn’t mean that the process is an easy one. Perhaps one of the most important tips for success is to realize from the outset that online learning is in no measure “easier” than learning in a traditional classroom. If anything, it may actually be harder because it requires a huge degree of self-motivation and time management skills. Each course needs to be approached as seriously as a traditional class would be. This minimizes the chances of procrastinating and falling behind in the first weeks of the class.

Another excellent tip for success is to connect with the course’s instructor early. The online format makes it possible to send emails and other messages to the professor, and it’s important to take advantage of this as it provides an opportunity to better understand course expectations and guidelines. This will translate into greater confidence and better chances of not having assignments returned for revisions.

Success in online learning also means choosing to participate. Class discussions often happen on a virtual board, and students are generally required to post a certain number of times each week. If at all possible, it’s advisable to go above and beyond these requirements to get the most out of the class. Make postings thoughtful and proofread them for spelling, grammar and punctuation so that they points you make are articulate and easy to understand.

If you really want to be successful, you’ll also get familiar with the technology that the class uses. This means logging in as early as possible to get used to the interface and to locate all of the important components. That’s not the kind of thing that you want to leave for the last minute when you’re up against a deadline.

Virtual classrooms can create amazing learning opportunities for military personnel. With these tips for success, any veteran can use online classes to advance their career or begin a new professional path.