So you’ve lucked out and got a spot in an online class! Now you’ll get to complete assignments in the comfort of your room while wearing your favorite pair of pajamas. Despite the increased level of comfort, there are a few key steps to make the most of your online education experience. These steps will have you on the path to figuring out how to succeed in online classes.
1. Posts Galore
One of the primary ways professors check for engagement is by participating in class discussions. By taking an online class, you get rid of the risk of being put on the spot. To show that you are paying attention in the class, you should be posting on forums as often as possible. Whether it’s in response to a comment from another classmate or you start your own thread, comments that engage directly with the material will improve your standing in the class. This is your chance to put that customer service voice to use that sometimes doesn’t come out in person!
2. Get Ahead (If Possible)
Depending on the online class structure, you should take advantage and get ahead in class when you have extra time available. A lot of online classes have self-guided lessons where you watch videos of the professor lecturing or other video material which allows you to get ahead on your own. This may save you some time when it comes time for midterms or finals, but you should only try to get ahead when you have a relatively good grasp of what’s happening in the class.
3. Ask Those Questions
Whether it’s for clarification or general confusion, ask away! Even though it’s an online class your professor is still available for discussion and they might respond even faster than usual. Utilize the fact that an online class can be resumed at any time of the day so there is never a wrong time to ask questions. If you don’t understand a lesson or assignment, it is better to send an email asking questions versus sitting at your laptop screen perplexed.
4. Notes Are Your Best Friend
Since it is an online class, sometimes notes are not taken since the material is in the palm of your hands. Taking notes is a huge advantage especially if specific PowerPoint presentations are “closed” after a certain amount of time. If you take notes, you have the information all in one place and you aren’t forced to keep clicking across tabs. This is also helpful if you have open book tests because you can just check your notebook! A lot of the time online class quizzes will state you cannot open another tab or screen, so your notes will save you in these situations.
5. Make Friends
Surviving online classes can be a very solitary act. You are viewing the lessons, completing assignments, and staring at a screen. Maybe your professor has yet to respond to a question you had about the current assignment, so this presents the perfect opportunity to befriend a fellow online classmate. You can email or message them and potentially get a faster solution. Making friends in college classes can often be intimidating so consider the option of using an online class to build a friendship.
6. Stick To Deadlines
Due dates for online classes vary by professor, subject, and level in college. If assignments are typically due every Sunday, do not wait until Saturday night to get started. Online classes often employ various assignments to make up for meetings that don’t take place in person. A different number of assignments can often mess up the amount of time you have to complete work for other classes, so it is extremely important to set personal deadlines. Once you develop a routine, you can succeed in an online class with ease!
Online classes can be an incredible gift but make sure to take it as seriously as any other class!
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Rebecca was born in Hayward, CA and still resides there today. She received her BA in English Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is the first in her family to graduate from university. She is a Poetry student in the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College of California and is furthering her involvement in the literary community. In her spare time, she likes to lose her voice at Giants games, read Young Adult novels, make lists, and aims to cross become a writer off it.