Brock University offers a variety of different courses in the Child and Youth Department. The course CHYS 2P15, otherwise known as the Principles of Service-Learning, consists of a service-learning component within a community or school setting as well as an asynchronous online course of modules. CHYS 2P15 prepares students to gain a richer understanding of the different methodologies discussed in previous Child and Youth courses and helps them appreciate the links between theory and practice. Because this course’s assignments are completed online, it promotes students’ autonomy and professional capacity. Enrolling in an online course can bring on more freedom as you can work at your own pace. However, the nature of online courses also poses different challenges that may become difficult for students, especially if it is their first time taking an online course. Down below are a few tips to aid in your success an as online learner and to help you stay on track.

1. Make Sure to Start off Strong

The way in which you begin the course can essentially set the tone for the entirety of the course. This means that you should not overestimate how much time you have to finish the assignments and readings for this class. You should look into making a schedule for this particular course so that you can stay on top of all of your work.

2. Plan Ahead

This is extremely important. Make sure to download your readings and other materials in advance, just in case you experience periods of internet disconnection. If you have your readings downloaded ahead of time, you will be able to work on your assignments even if you have little to no internet connection. Make sure to set aside regular periods of time in your schedule for this course.

3. Read the Syllabus for Guidance

The course syllabus will contain lots of important information. It highlights the course description, the main objectives, assignment formats, the instructor’s contact information, and the assignment deadlines. By referring back to the syllabus, you can stay organized and make note of the learning objectives and expectations.

4. Ensure you Have Access to Reliable Internet

To avoid any mishaps, make sure that you are repeatedly saving your work. You can also take this a step further by backing up your assignments and other course materials to Google Documents, so that you will have access to your work, from any device. Having reliable internet access will allow you to login to the course on a regular basis.

5. Engage in the Online Discussions

The key to success in this course is active engagement. Although this is an online course, this does not mean that you are learning in isolation. While reading other classmates’ modules, actively provide your input and think about how their module reflection has contributed to your understanding of the main objectives of the module. You should consistently write thoughtful reflections on your classmates’ posts, showing evidence of having read and reflected on your classmates’ work.

Although an online course provides students with flexibility in completing the course material, it can also be extremely easy for students to underestimate the amount of time needed in an online class and to fall off track. As an online learner, you need to remember to look into the syllabus, since it contains detailed information regarding the course, support guidance, useful tips, and other information. By doing this, you are fully taking responsibility for your own learning. Always make sure that you are staying balanced, as you keep up with the demands of this course as well as meet your other school-related obligations. It is up to you if you want to make your online-learning experience an enjoyable one!


Melanie Amitrano

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