Advising Center

Succeeding as an Online Learner at DTS

Dallas Theological Seminary offers many online courses. The following tips should help you succeed in your preparation for serving God.

 

1. Match Your Learning Style

Some students thrive in an online environment. In what way(s) will online courses maximize your learning?

2. Interact with Course Graduates

What types of assignments does this professor require? Do assignments match your learning style?

3. Review the Course Syllabus Early

Professors often make syllabi available through the course schedule before the semester begins so students can plan ahead. Note due dates for all major projects in each course and work ahead. Plan weekly time for regular work (videos, interactions, reading). If no syllabus is available, speak with the professor directly about course requirements and tentative due dates.

4. Start Swiftly and Don’t Miss Deadlines

Start coursework as soon as the course officially begins (a.k.a. don’t procrastinate!). Create a semester schedule and checklist in order to keep track of all assignment due dates.

5. Resolve Technical Problems Quickly

If you experience difficulty accessing the online course platform, contact our Online Studies Office (coursemanagement@dts.edu) as soon as possible.

6. Ask for Help

Contact the graduate teaching assistant, the professor, or the Advising Center if you grow confused or get behind.

7. Get Organized and Take Good Notes

As with any class, good organization and note taking are key. Create an organizational system (electronic or otherwise) which works well for you.

8. Plan Your Time Well

Students are most successful in online education when they treat online learning the same as a campus course. Carve out a designated time and place each week to watch course lectures and complete homework assignments.

9. Give Each Other the Benefit of the Doubt

Discerning tone via email or discussion board posts is difficult. Show grace to other students and assume that they seek to contribute to your knowledge and growth into the likeness of Christ. Stop to think and edit before hitting send when interacting with another student’s post.

10. Ask Questions

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Professors want you to learn! Contact them with questions regarding course content and assignment requirements. Still having trouble? Email the Online Studies Office (coursemanagement@dts.edu).

11. Interact with Your Classmates Outside of Class

Keep in contact with your classmates outside of class in order to form bonds and friendships which will ultimately strengthen the online learning experience. Who knows? Such relationships could turn into life-long support or ministry collaborations.

12. Don’t Neglect Your Spiritual or Family Life

Plan well, rest often, learn to be flexible, and make sure that you keep first things first. Success in your online course must take into consideration your ongoing life commitments.

13. Know Your Residency Requirement

Most degrees require students to complete a certain number of hours at an approved campus or extension site. Please see our Residency and Time Limits or contact us for more information about the residency requirement for your degree. It is best to work and plan toward this requirement from the beginning.

 

The Advising Center adapted these tips from Baker, Jason D. Baker’s Guide to Christian Distance Education: Online Learning for All Ages. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2000.