5 Online Learning Tips from Ai Student Alexandra Jones

By: Jen Greenwood

July 17, 2017

Alexandra Jones—a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division—lives much of her life on the move. Her home is a skoolie, an RV converted school bus, where she lives with her boyfriend and pets. The pair has been all over the East coast and visited several Western states and, with traveling a priority for Alexandra, online classes were a natural fit.


Recently, our team chatted with Alexandra to see how she manages her time and to get her advice for success as an online student. Below are the five tips she shared!

1. Take advantage of the resources provided.

“At The Art Institute, you have all these people, like advisors and finance counselors, at your fingertips. Reach out to them, talk to them, and pick their brains because they're all really good resources to help you throughout your degree.”


2. Communicate often and early.

“Communication was the most important thing I learned for adapting to an online environment. Before, in a physical classroom, I wouldn't reach out to my instructors; I'd try to figure stuff out on my own. Still, in a physical classroom, your instructor is always right there, so you can walk up after class and talk to them.

In an online environment, you don't have that face-to-face contact. You have to teach yourself to reach out, and make sure you get the information that you need. I’ve made it a habit to set a ground of communication early on with my instructors so that the link is always open.”

3. Be prepared to move fast.

“The classes move quickly, and I really like that about The Art Institute. There's always new stuff to learn, new subjects, and I enjoy the constant change.

Learning in the online environment seems easier for me than in the physical environment, where I kind of struggled and it was really time consuming. Part of it is having all the flexibility and the information right there in the classroom. Having everything in one place feels a lot more organized, so it makes it easier to move faster.”

AIOBlog_Alexandra_with cat

4. When traveling, find wifi or be prepared to spend money on data.

We just moved to a new spot and we were able to get actual wifi. It's been the best thing ever. Before, when my boyfriend and I would tether with our phones, the data that we used was extremely expensive.

Still, a lot of times when we travel, we do end up using our phones, but we always make sure that where we're stopping we get service on our phones. I can't do my homework without it, so it's very important to make sure that we have service before we stop.”

5. Work toward a goal that excites you.

“I got a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology first but, after some time, I decided I wanted to do something more creative and artistic. I decided to dive into graphic design and I've never loved a subject more.

I like to travel on the bus, work remotely, and have a lot of freedom. Graphic design, I think, is a good subject to do that. With my boyfriend being a web developer/programmer, we want to be a duo and start our own company. That's the ultimate dream.”

AIOBlog_Alexandra_Up Close

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By: Jen Greenwood

July 17, 2017

graphic design graphic design program