So, you’ve started classes for the semester. You might have a few on campus classes, but you had to take one or more classes online. In my time in college, I have taken quite a few online classes. I even had a semester with all online classes.
An online class might seem daunting at first, but you can get through it. All it takes is a little motivation and know-how. Here are my tips for surviving an online class.
While organization is important for any class, that is especially true for an online class. I like to make a folder on my computer for the semester, then sub folders for each of your classes (online and on campus). I use the class folder to store everything from the syllabus to my final paper. If you like to look at things in print, then print off your syllabus and course schedule and have a dedicated folder for each class.
Login every day.
It sounds simple, but you want to keep up with your work each day to make sure you don’t miss a deadline. Login to the course to check for any new messages or updates from your professor. If you don’t have time each day, try to check in at least five times a week.
While I do not personally do this, I have friends who like to use an app on their phone to login. If you are away from a computer but want to check your grades, you can download the proper app. That would be either your school’s app or the official app for something like Blackboard.
I like to just use my phone’s mobile browser, since my school’s website is pretty mobile-responsive.
Email is your best friend.
Since you won’t be seeing your professor in person, email will be your primary form of communication with them. I will email my professor about anything from a simple question about an assignment to the requirements for a final exam.
You can also email your classmates. If you know someone in your class or you see someone having the same problem as you, email them. You can start a study group or just keep each other accountable.
Also, don’t be afraid to email your on campus professors with questions. Especially if one of your classes only meets weekly, you can get your questions answered.
Do the little things.
Discussion posts are a common part of online classes. Do them. They will probably be a small part of your grade (like 10%), but they add up. Your professor will see who really cares to do the work.
Extra credit assignments also fall under this category. If you can, do at least one extra credit assignment. Even if you start the class off with a high A, you never know what might happen. You could bomb the midterm. You could get super sick and miss a week of work.
Every bit counts. It could mean the difference between an A and B or B and C at the end of the semester.
Note the due date and time.
When you go to look at your assignments, you should obviously look at the due dates, but you should also look at the time. Most of the online classes I have had had assignments due close to midnight (11:59 pm), but there was one that was different. In that class, all assignments were due at 5 pm. That’s not a huge difference, but if you are busy all day, you might want to submit your assignments the day before.
Taking the time to check the time an assignment is due will allow you to plan your schedule better and to get everything done on time.
Work ahead when you can.
When you have a ton of on campus responsibilities, it can be easy to let your online class fall to the wayside. That’s why I like to work ahead when I can. If I have some extra time and motivation, I will complete an assignment a week or two early. That way, I can stay ahead in case I have a super busy week later.
Working ahead is also a good way to keep up with on campus classes, but for online classes, it is even more helpful. Unless you get lucky, your professor won’t be emailing you constantly to remind you of due dates. Having assignments completed and turned in a week in advance helps if you ever do forget a due date. Because you’ve already turned it in!
Get your textbooks.
Even the ones that aren’t required. I say this, because in an online class, you basically teach yourself. You have an instructor there to guide you, but you need to motivate yourself. Sometimes, you need more information to understand a concept. Try and find some supplementary materials to help you learn and succeed.
This could be recommended books or articles and websites from a simple Google search. Also, finding your own resources on the subject could be a great motivator. Since you’re going out of your way to learn, it will be much more enjoyable!
Prioritize your class.
An online class is just as much work as an on campus class. You should treat it as such. If you have an assignment due the next day, work on it instead of going out to party. Some people like to schedule their online class like an on campus class. I have found this doesn’t work for me, but you should give it a shot.
Write your assignments down in your planner and at the very least, write down the day you plan to do them. Or use the alarm or reminder app on your phone. Either way, prioritizing is the only way you will get your work done.
Those are some of my tips for how to succeed in an online class. I hope these tips helped you. Do you have any other tips for getting through an online class? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!