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Tips For Success

Equip Yourself With the Required Course Materials

  1. Make sure you have a syllabus for the course you are taking. Read it carefully; it should answer most of the questions you have about how to proceed through the course.
  2. Textbooks, study guides and other course materials may be purchased at the Santa Ana College. We recommend that you use a three-ring binder with dividers to file your notes and any materials mailed to you during the course.
  3. Preview your textbook and printed materials by scanning the table of contents, major chapter headings and subheadings. If your course has a study guide, read the directions at the beginning of each lesson. These materials are closely correlated with the media portion of the course, and you will be tested on the content of them.
  4. Check television reception if you plan to view video programs at home.
  5. Arrange for Internet access or an e-mail account.

Develop a Study Plan

  1. Use the assignment schedule or course calendar from your syllabus to develop a set schedule for each week. Several viewing times may be offered for telecourses, but most students report that they benefit from a regular schedule. Use the alternate viewing times for review and make-up sessions. If your course uses computer assignments, you should also plan a specific time each week to complete the lessons.
  2. Plan to complete your textbook and study guide assignments before you view the lessons (unless otherwise stated in your syllabus) or participate in online activities. Develop a regular schedule for completing these assignments.
  3. Keep a good set of notes for each unit or topic. By doing this, you will be able to review for examinations without "cramming" everything in at the last minute. Keep note-taking to a minimum while you are viewing a video program for the first time.

Avoid Interruptions

  1. Let your family or roommates know about your study schedule, and ask that you not be disturbed while you are studying.
  2. Avoid all interruptions and distractions while you are viewing a video program, reading the textbook, working on the computer, or working with the study guide. Take the telephone off the hook if there is no one available to answer it but you.

Recruit a Group of Study Partners

  1. Identify one or more classmates with whom you can review assignments, discuss videotapes, and prepare for examinations. Make arrangements to study together by phone, e-mail or in person.
  2. Use the questions at the end of each topic or unit in your study guide or textbook to discuss general concepts of the course. Develop a vocabulary list of important terms. Write definitions in your own words (especially terms you do not fully understand) and review them on a regular basis.
  3. Look for ways to relate and apply the knowledge you are gaining. Share your experiences with your study partner.

Ask For Help if You Need It

  1. Contact your instructor when you have questions about course content.  The best way to contact your instructor is by e-mail, instructors are also available by phone during the office hours indicated in your syllabus, or you may make an appointment for an on-campus meeting.
  2. Plan to attend the on-campus  review/discussion sessions as this gives you an opportunity to have your questions answered and to interact with the instructor and your fellow students. These sessions are also valuable when you are reviewing course materials before an examination.
  3. If you want to make up or review a portion of the course, you may view any of the video programs at the Santa Ana College or Santiago Canyon College Libraries. You may also check out many of the videotapes to take home (limited availability). You may want to use a start-stop-rewind technique when watching to make sure you see and hear all of the information.