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Maximize Your Learning Potential: How to Prepare for Your Master of Education Online Classroom

June 10, 2024

Students increasingly opt to learn online. Hybrid and online programs are on the rise, according to a survey of chief online officers at two- and four-year colleges and universities. Students enjoy the convenience and flexibility of online education, which also broadens students’ choice of programs and institutions and accelerates the pace at which learners graduate

Online educational programs enable students to access coursework and attend classes from anywhere. They often appeal to students who plan to work full- or part-time while studying. School, work, and personal obligations are a lot to stuff into one day; online programs require significant commitment but also offer accommodations to help students manage their many responsibilities. Continue reading to find out what to expect when you enroll in an online graduate program like the online Master of Education (MEd) at Tulane University.

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What to Expect in an Online MEd Classroom Environment

Many online MEd curricula combine synchronous learning—in which students attend live videoconference classes—with asynchronous content, including video, text, online discussion boards, and interactive applications. As a Tulane online student, you can access asynchronous course content and assignments anytime through the Canvas learning management system.

In addition to completing asynchronous coursework, you will attend live class sessions and discussions, where you can connect with faculty and peers. Some online programs include in-person learning or immersion experiences (the Tulane MEd does not; the program is 100% online).

As an online student, you will enjoy many benefits and face a few common challenges. Let’s explore both.

The Benefits of Earning Your Degree Online

Students at various stages of their personal and professional lives find online learning attractive. Key benefits include: 

  • Accessibility: You can earn your degree from anywhere, so you don’t have to relocate to study at your preferred university. 
  • Study at your own pace: As an online MEd student, you can choose whether to study full- or part-time, making balancing your professional and academic commitments easier. 
  • Continued professional development: As an online student, you can continue working (and earning a salary) while earning your degree. You may even benefit from tuition assistance benefits from your employer.
  • Networking opportunities: Online degree programs attract students nationwide, allowing you to expand your professional network. You will also have the chance to interact with expert faculty members. 
  • Digital skills: Studying online helps educators build their digital skills and prepares them to thrive in an online teaching environment. 

Common Challenges in Online Classroom Environments 

Typical challenges online students may encounter include: 

  • Technical issues: A poor internet connection, malfunctioning devices, or issues with online learning platforms can disrupt your learning process and cause frustration. Tulane students can access an IT Service Desk and other resources to help them navigate technology and troubleshoot problems. 
  • Distractions: The option to learn from anywhere affords invaluable flexibility; however, if you try to study in a crowded environment, you could find yourself distracted. The internet also offers countless distractions, from social media to streaming services, which can easily divert your attention. Online learners must develop strategies to suppress the urge to explore rabbit holes.
  • Isolation: Online learning can feel isolating, especially for learners who thrive on social interaction. Tulane online MEd students can mitigate this by connecting with peers during live class sessions and discussion groups.
  • Time management: Balancing online courses with work, family, and other responsibilities can be challenging. Tulane’s online learning management system facilitates time management by making it easy for students to track deadlines and course calendars.

Now that you understand the main benefits and drawbacks of learning online, read on to learn how to best prepare for success in your online MEd classroom.  

Virtually Unstoppable: How to Set Yourself Up for Success 

While online learning can present challenges, implementing proven strategies can set you up for success. 

Create a Protected Learning Space 

Creating a conducive learning environment promotes academic success. To enhance your learning experience, choose a space where you can concentrate without frequent interruptions. Also, ensure your comfort by investing in a good-quality desk and chair. As an online student, you also need a reliable computer and internet connection. 

Build Your School Schedule 

To balance work and school effectively, create a detailed schedule and commit to it. To build your schedule, list all your time-bound commitments, including work, family events, and live class sessions. Then, add coursework and assignment deadlines. You will now have a good idea of your available study time, what tasks you need to complete, and the respective deadlines. To finalize your schedule, break your study material into manageable chunks and set interim deadlines for yourself to ensure you stay on track.

Also, inform all stakeholders in your life — your partner, employer, family, and friends — about your commitments so they can support you as needed.

Get to Know Your Cohort and Professors

Connecting and interacting with fellow students can help you stay motivated and deepen your understanding of course concepts. Sharing ideas and learning from others can also enrich your learning experience. Tulane’s online MEd program offers many opportunities for students to interact with their peers, including live classes, admitted student events, and virtual orientation sessions. 

Online students should also engage with their professors during online office hours. Office hours allow you to get one-on-one support, discuss your career objectives, and build your professional network.

Make the Most of Online Learner Resources 

To get the most out of your online learning experience, commit to asking for help when you need it and take advantage of online student resources. Tulane online students can access an interactive online learning management system, academic advising, tech support, and career development services

Access the Support You Need to Succeed Online at Tulane 

Earning your MEd online offers various benefits and potential pitfalls. By using time management strategies, connecting with your faculty and peers, and creating a protected learning space, you can mitigate most of the common challenges and set yourself up for success. 

If advancing your education career interests you, consider Tulane University’s online MEd program. It offers 100 percent online instruction;students can choose to study part- or full-time. The program offers four specialization areas — Equity-Centered Education Leadership, Learning Experience Design, Teaching English Learners, and Special Education — so students can align their studies with their interests and objectives. 

To learn more about the online MEd from Tulane, set up a call with an enrollment advisor or attend one of our virtual events. If you are ready to move forward, start your application today. 

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