Some online courses are designed to be group learning experiences, similar to a traditional classroom. Like a traditional classroom, there will be students who participate and students who are quiet. However, in an online course it's easier to get lost in the crowd if you don't participate. Make a point of joining in chat discussions and post questions and comments to the class message boards. You don't need to be the chattiest person in class, but don't let shyness stop you from taking advantage of participating. Also, some professors require a minimum amount of participation from their students (a certain number of message board posts, attendance at chats, etc.)
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