Online learning is something that many students are trying out for the first time during a national shut down. For the first time, kindergarten all the way through seniors in college aren’t getting up early in the morning to catch the bus, drive or bike to school. Students aren’t meeting up with friends in the hallway and sitting at their designated spots in the lunch room. Instead, pupils are attending classes on their laptops and iPads instead of in person, logging into student accounts or loading into video chats for attendance and class sessions.
Online classes present more responsibilities than the traditional learning we’re all used to, but if you follow these 8 key practices to online learning, your transition will go a whole lot smoother!
1. Schedule Time To Study
The first big difference between traditional and online classes is that you don’t have to follow the same old routine of waking up and being at school and in class all by 9 o’clock or whenever the bell rings. With online classes, you get to have a lot more freedom to do your assignments on your own time.
This is why a key thing to practice is scheduling time to study each day. Taking online courses puts added responsibility on the student to check in on the internet, Failing to do this will consistently lead to a loss of important participation points that will hurt your final grade.
2. Stay On That Schedule
Once you set up a schedule for yourself, take responsibility and continue to follow it. Online classes can be worked around responsibilities in your daily life like work, so it’s wise to designate a couple hours you have for free time each day toward taking notes and completing online quizzes.
Practice following this schedule to a T and you should have no issue staying on top of your assignments!
3. Turn Everything In On Time
This is a big one. Like any regular class, turning in your assignments on time is especially important if you want a chance to receive full credit, and assignments for online classes are no different.
Deadlines are listed in a number of places, including the assignment’s drop box page (typically), so unless you have a remarkable reason to explain a late submission, there really isn’t any excuse for you to turn in your homework late. Some drop boxes lock right at the deadline and all online instructors can see the exact times that assignments are submitted, so don’t think that you’ll be able to sneak your essay in a few minutes after the bell.
4. Read All Course Documents
Read everything that the instructor offers you. Read the all important syllabus. Read the instructions on how to submit your assignments, when the deadlines are and what you should be posting to class discussion boards if they’re required. Read the usual “welcome to class!” post the teacher usually includes. Check out how assignments will be graded and when the big ones are coming. If the professor shares any links to notes you may need, read the information on that link.
Reading up on everything there is to know about your online classes is your responsibility as the student, and is one of the best practices for online classes!
5. Check Your Email Frequently
When I say frequently, I mean every day.
Online instructors tend to have updates posted on the home page of your online class regarding deadline extensions, upcoming due date reminders and other messages that are important for the class to know about. Not all of them do, however.
Checking your email is a good practice to have in case the instructor prefers that as their means of communication. It wouldn’t be too fun if you were to miss an important update and end up out of the loop. Check your email!
6. Always Ask The Professor Questions If You’re Stuck
If you’re reading the directions for an assignment and you’re reading it through again and again and you’re still confused, don’t hesitate to reach out to your online instructor.
Emailing your teacher directly is most likely going to be the best way to reach them and get a response sooner. This is another reason why it is important to check your email frequently.
7. Print Out Important Info
Printing out important course documents is a great practice that will help you during your online class.
Print out the syllabus so you have a physical copy of your due dates and layout for the course. Print out study guides so you can write out notes to help you study. Print out practice quizzes if they’re available. Highlight, circle, star, underline or whatever you need to do to mark all of the important things on your print outs and keep them all together.
Having these print outs is like having handouts and worksheets from a traditional class, which should help you feel more comfortable as a student.
8. Always Back Up Your Work
Disasters do happen. Computers sometimes crash. Your laptop might die. Your screen might freeze. And you forgot to click save. Poof. Now that amazing 8-page essay is gone without a trace.
Never, ever forget to frequently save your assignments as you go, and once its saved, save it again as a new backup file. The very last thing you ever want as a student is to lose the file to your homework assignment right before the deadline.
Avoid all of the sorrow and despair and always save a backup file to every assignment you work on just in case. You just never know when disaster will strike!
These are the best practices you should incorporate in order to transition into online classes. Follow these guides closely to achieve your full potential for success!