"As an online learner you should always keep in mind that your dialogue in online discussion boards in the classroom with your peers and instructor, and your papers and instructor feedback are permanently electronically stored," Becky Takeda-Tinker, president of Colorado State University—Global Campus, wrote in an email. "Instructors have the ability to refer back to those exchanges to provide potential employers with valuable insight into important workplace abilities."
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Although it's best to make a strong academic impression throughout the course of a class, if you can only shine once, do so toward the beginning, says Regent's Campo.
"The first assignment is a critical one," he says. "Really work hard on that assignment – whether it's worth 2 percent or 20 percent. That first assignment sends an indelible message to the faculty member that you are working hard."
Although establishing a good connection with an online instructor takes effort, it doesn't need to be hard.
Damaso, of Daytona State, says she thinks it's easier to make a positive impression on a faculty member in an online class than in a traditional brick-and-mortar course.
"You are not in class in person, so you can't ask questions right away," she says. "But I think the written word goes a bit further. It's a little bit more precise. You have more time to really think about what you're asking. Sometimes, I thought it was more of a benefit than a hindrance."
Trying to fund your online education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for Online Education center.