Forget Facebook: Why You Need to Embrace LinkedIn Before Graduation

While Facebook is great for keeping up with friends and family, following products and services you’re interested in, and even connecting with your online classmates, it’s not the ideal social media tool for promoting yourself professionally. If you haven’t yet set up a LinkedIn account, or haven’t really put much effort into fleshing it out, it’s critical that you do so before graduation.

Why? According to a report from ABC News, more than 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking. While some of that networking can happen the old fashioned way, a lot of it occurs online and if you’re out of the game, you won’t have access to these important opportunities which can make it much harder to break into a new industry or to land that critical first job after graduation.

So how to do you make the most of what LinkedIn can offer you as a soon-to-be certified professional in your field? There are a few ways you can do the work now of cultivating your profile that will help you reap big benefits later on.

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Need for Speed: How Fast Does Your Internet Connection Need to Be for Online Courses?

If there’s one thing you need to get right for taking an online course it’s your access to the Internet. It needs to be reliable, readily available for you to use, and fast enough to ensure that you can complete the things you’ll need to do for the course. But how fast is fast enough? Here, we’ll address the basics of getting the best Internet connection for an online course and discuss the speed you need to keep pace with your coursework.

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7 Ways Twitter Can Be a Powerful Educational Tool for Online Students

Twitter has made it possible to keep up with your favorite celebrities, learn about breaking news, and share your thoughts with the world—all in 140 characters or less. But have you ever considered using the site as a way to learn more about your degree program and advance in your career?

While it’s not the most conventional tool for online learning, Twitter can actually help you to become more actively involved in your studies and, as an added bonus, you may actually have quite a bit of fun while doing it. Here are some of the easiest and most productive ways to put Twitter to use in your online courses and beyond.

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The Best High-Tech Note-Taking Tools for Online Students

Taking high-quality notes is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself be successful in your courses, both online and off. While traditional methods like pen and paper still work quite well, if you’re looking for a more high-tech solution there are plenty of options available to you.

Here are a few great tools that make it easy to take, store, share, and organize notes for all of your courses.

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Hybrid Classes: Expectations vs. Reality

My name is Jason Snart.  I’m an English Professor here at COD and I teach a lot of hybrid classes.

What is a “hybrid” class?  A hybrid, or what is sometimes called a blended, class involves a combination of face-to-face, in-the-classroom learning with online learning.  At the College of DuPage instructional time is usually divided on a weekly basis.  So maybe a class that would meet from 9-9:50am on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the face-to-face version would, in the hybrid version, meet in class on Monday and Wednesday but not on Friday.  Instead, there would be an online learning component each week, probably available through our Learning Management System, Blackboard.  

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5 Research-Proven Tips for Studying More Effectively

When it comes to studying, it’s not just how much you study, but how well you do it. In fact, the better you are at studying, the less time you’ll actually have to commit to it. How can you attain pro status when it comes to studying for your online courses? Here are five tips, based on psychological research, that will help you hone your study skills and ensure you get more out of every minute you put in.

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Online Collaboration

The Best Digital Collaboration Tools for Online Students

You may never actually meet your online classmates, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll never need to work with them in order to complete coursework, tackle a project, or even just to study for a test. Finding an easy way to collaborate can be as simple as finding an app or website that offers the features and the flexibility that you need to complete your work, but with so many options to choose from, where can you start?

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The Online Student’s Finals Week Survival Guide

There’s one thing that students, no matter where they are, in class or online, have in common: finals week. Whether you’re pulling together final presentations, writing up big papers, or cramming for exams, the stress of the final week of class doesn’t evaporate just because you’re not coming to campus. How do you prepare to tackle those last few days of class before you get to enjoy the well-earned freedom of  break? Here are some tips and tools to help online students get through your finals with flying colors. Continue reading

Well Said!: How to Get More Out of Your Online Course Discussions

In an online course, discussion boards take the place of many of the face-to-face interactions that students have with their professors and their fellow students. These forums are more than just a place to socialize–they’re one of the key places you get to show what you know, ask questions, and engage with the course material in a deeper and more dynamic manner.

As such, part of getting the most out of your course and making a good impression (not to mention getting a good grade), is crafting posts and responses that are of high quality.

Well, you may be thinking, that’s easy to say, but not so easy to do. And you’re right in that it will take some effort, but the benefits—deeper learning and stronger relationships with classmates and instructors to name a few–can be well worth the challenge. And like anything, the more you practice, the easier it will get.

So where do you begin? Let’s start with the basics.

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Overcoming the 5 Biggest Barriers to Success Facing Online Learners

The ability to take courses online makes it possible for many students who would not otherwise be able to take courses to do so. But while online learning does offer many benefits, it still comes with a number of challenges, especially to students who may be new to the format.

Earlier this year, Cengage conducted a survey that asked instructors what the biggest barriers to student success were in their courses. Here, we lay out the top five as well as some tips and tools to help you overcome these challenges and be a more confident and successful online student here at COD and beyond.

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