If you’re thinking of registering for a distance learning course, contact the instructor and find out more about the course requirements before you commit. Find out what equipment you will need such as a computer, phone, modem, fax machine or VCR and where you can access it. Find out how you will submit your work for the course. Your instructor will likely have set deadlines throughout the semester, and you will need to arrange your schedule to ensure you submit your work on time.
When the course begins, establish a schedule for yourself and stick to it. All learning relies on your initiative, but personal initiative is of paramount importance in distance learning. Request frequent and detailed feedback from your instructor, but do not rely solely on the instructor to motivate you. If you’re close enough to campus that you could visit in person, find out the instructor’s office hours so you can attend if you need to. Make contact with other students in your class via phone, email or online chat.