Attending a sonography program online is quite different from attending a campus-based school. When attending on-campus classes, students can mingle with each other before class or study together in the library. There is a sense of camaraderie. An online learning experience requires great self-discipline and the ability to stay self-motivated. However, there are some tips sonography students can follow to increase the likelihood of success and to ensure the learning experience is as enjoyable as possible.
Tip 1: Prepare ahead to ensure technology and supplies are on hand before the distance education class begins.
Sonography programs online require that students have access to the right technology and supplies. Waiting until the day before to assemble the equipment and supplies is a recipe for disaster. Almost all online courses require high-speed internet access, computers with minimum processing speeds, the ability to access school software programs, the ability to download media readers and plug-ins, and the availability of programs like Microsoft Word and Excel. Some programs may even require use of particular search engines like Firefox or Chrome. Making sure the requirements are available, met and understood long before class starts is a key step in successfully attending a sonography program online.
Tip 2: Take advantage of all the sophisticated learning tools offered online.
Online ultrasound tech programs are quite advanced in terms of technology. Students will find they can attend faculty lectures and participate in class discussions when logged into the class at the designated times. There will be a wealth of online tools available that include the downloadable class syllabus, student forums, scheduled group exchanges, video chat sessions with faculty or other students, digital whiteboards with assignments, and much more. It is important to take full advantage of all the learning tools that enrich the online learning experience.
Tip 3: Create dedicated learning space for your sonography program online.
One of the problems home-based students experience is how to avoid distractions. While the student is attending an online sonography program, the television, smartphone, and dirty laundry needing attention are all the types of distractions that can lead to non-productivity. It is better to created dedicated learning space that is like a home-based classroom. When the student “goes to class” or “goes to the library to study,” it means going to a different room where there is a computer, space for class materials, and as few distractions as possible. This will improve the ability to concentrate and can even send a message to other household members that class is in session and the student is not to be disturbed.
Tip 4: Stay current with the class work and assignments.
It is good to have definitive goals like working towards earning an Associate degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. However, it is also common for online students to put off completing class assignments or to fall behind in watching and listening to class lectures. Suddenly, it is the near the end of the semester, and the student is faced with catching up a lot of backlogged work no matter how long it takes. The best approach is to develop time management skills and set aside regular time for attending online class lectures and group discussions and for studying. In other words, approach an online accredited sonography programs the same way that an on-campus class would be approached. Students can plan on spending at least 10 hours per week on each four-credit course.
Tip 5: Do not hesitate to ask for help.
Distance education is similar to on-campus learning in many ways. One of those ways is that students should not hesitate to ask the faculty member teaching the online course for help. Struggling alone at home or at a local library in a state of confusion, or getting frustrated because there are technology problems, can lead to failure.
The most important point to keep in mind is that a sonography program online requires active, full participation. The classes must be approached with a determination to succeed. The faculty and staff at the school where the distance education program is located are as much available to online sonography students as they are to on-campus students. The difference is that the online student must be the one to initiate contact when help is needed because of the absence of personal interaction.