Hey guys, I'm Jessica, here with more helpful advice for studying and teaching online. Today, I'm going to be answering a question from Erin in Ft. Lauderdale. She says:
"I'm about to go on my honeymoon to Florence, Italy, and I'm currently halfway through the semester with my online biology class. Do you have any tips on how I can keep up on my studies while overseas? Thanks! "
Congratulations, Erin! A honeymoon in Florence sounds heavenly! I'm jealous!
It seems like a shame to spend time on your honeymoon doing schoolwork, but it's great that you're thinking about this ahead of time. Here's what I'd do in your situation.
I've talked numerous times in my column about how much teachers hate flimsy excuses, but we're not heartless. A honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime event and we all deserve to enjoy it. I don't know how far away your wedding and honeymoon are from now, but the very first thing I would do is talk to your teacher one on one about your plans, as early as possible.
Explain what you're doing and when, and, here's the clincher, express your willingness to get ahead before you leave. Ask whether there's anything that he or she can do to work with you on this. Maybe you can submit a paper early. Or perhaps there's reading you can get ahead on so that you're prepared for discussion when you return.
If your instructor hasn't planned that far in advance or, for some reason, can't give you early access to materials, you can continue to check in on class while you're away. I know there are Internet cafes in Florence, and many newer hotels have Wi-Fi.
Also, be sure to let the instructor know that you'll be in another time zone, and will only be able to check in at certain times or on certain days. For many online courses, there's no need to worry about real-time class discussions. But some rely on conference calling or live chats, so take your own program's requirements into account.
And then, when you return from your trip, hit the ground running. Talk to your teacher immediately. Let him or her know you're home and anxious to get back into the swing of things. And if you miss out on a few points for the sake of enjoying your honeymoon, well, hey, that's a small price to pay, right?
Thanks for the great question Erin. Enjoy your trip! And thanks to everyone for watching.
As always, if you have more questions about online education, you can submit them in the comments below or at OnlineColleges.com. And if you haven't already, please subscribe and follow me on Google+ for more of my thoughts and useful tips. I'll see you guys next time!