5 Ways to Sit in the Front Row of Your Online Class

Some students feel invisible in their online courses, and don't do as well as they could. But there are ways to get noticed, making sure the professor knows exactly who you are. Here are our top five:
  1. Get personal. Many courses have an introductory week when students share information about themselves. Reveal a bit more than your major and why you're taking the course. Tell about your job, your kids, your hobbies, and a couple of interesting things about yourself. Reveal a bit more throughout the course.
  2. Post first or very early each week. The first responses to a discussion posting will typically get noticed more than the ones that approach the deadline. It will usually impress the instructor that you're early and on top of your game.
  3. Raise your hand. Pose questions to the instructor. Don't be obnoxious, but ask the instructor a question every week or so related to the content. It's even okay (and intelligent) to question or disagree with the content that's presented.
  4. Address people by name. When you're responding to a classmate or an instructor, something very magical happens when you use their name. For example, say, "Dr. Smith, I found your analysis of the Clinton years very interesting," or "Sally, that must have been a difficult experience for you."
  5. Provide your instructor with useful feedback some time during the course. If there is something negative to be said, sandwich it with something positive. For example, you might say, "Dr. Smith, I so appreciate the depth of feedback you have given me on my written work. It has really improved my writing. I would like to express my concerns about the amount of group work that we have in this class. While I appreciate the engagement with other students, I believe that I would be more successful if one of the three group projects were independent. This is a great class, and I have enjoyed your anecdotes." You might be surprised, but most instructors will really welcome this.

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