Virtual Student Life: How to Connect in Remote Study Groups

Working online can be a great way to further your education while maintaining your career and family responsibilities, however, there are unique challenges to working remotely.

A lot of online courses mirror real-life classrooms and require students to work together and participate in discussions. If you have the option, be sure to upload a photo of yourself and add a description about who you are. This will help your teacher and fellow classmates connect with you personally and can improve the virtual relationship. If you don’t have this option through your course, consider connecting with your peers through other social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook. College life is a great way to meet lifelong friends so there’s no reason to miss out on this experience because you are studying online.

Your professor may require some students to work on an assignment in groups. This is always a challenge, but remote study groups can present additional difficulties. Make sure you let your group understand your commitment to the course and expected grades right away. Not everyone will be as motivated as you are, but by setting the expectations right from the start, the slackers of the group may realize they have to work hard or will cause conflict with you and others.

Communicate regularly with your professor and classmates. Whether you are doing your assignments in a group or solo, asking questions and making observations with the class by email or chatrooms will help you connect with the others and will greatly enhance your study experience. Starting conversations will show your interest in the subject and can generate ideas that go beyond the printed textbooks or course curriculum. It will also help you to discover which students share your interest in achieving a high mark in the class so you will know the right people to go to for assistance.

Proactively reaching out to other students in your class will pay off greatly. Whether you are just taking one course or a full degree online, you can always benefit by developing relationships with people who are studying in the same field. After all, when you finish your course, these people may also have connections to the job you are planning to land after finishing school.

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