Five Tips to Help You Excel in Online Classes

9:00 AM

Happy Wednesday!

I was happy to be getting back to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule, but this past weekend went downhill too fast and I could not get this post done in time. I'm sorry! Hopefully I'll be able to get next week's posts up before work this weekend and I can finally get into the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, posting schedule. Even though the semester is ending for most, there are some that are taking online classes this summer {myself included!). I've been taking online classes almost every semester, and it is definitely can be difficult.


Online classes can be very hard to keep up with. With no physical class to attend, no professor to physically talk to, it can be hard to remember to check your online class when you have a flurry of in-person things to tend to. I know this because I've done this.

Tip #1: Set Reminders


Whether this is a written reminder in your planner, or an alarm that goes off on your phone, make sure you set some kind of reminder. You'll need to block out a chunk of time to be able to teach yourself the material, or watch the lecture that your professor uploaded. Make sure that you mark this and set a reminder so that when the time comes, you won't forget. This actually happened to me. I had things due on the weekend, when I work, and we had discussion boards in that class; five points for your post and five for two responses on others. Since I didn't remind myself to do the responses, I only got five points.

Tip #2: Email Your Professor and/or Course Assistant


Although you aren't in a classroom and seeing your professor every week, they are still there and they still exist. I think that sometimes students think professors for this class don't care about their students, and I can say that is further from the truth. I have had in-person professors who also teach online classes, I've even taken one of their online classes later in my college career. They always ask "what can I do to make sure my online students get this material?". Your professors want to help you succeed. If you have a question then email them.


Tip #3: Create a Workspace


Since your learning and teaching is being done by you in your home, you definitely should create your own workspace. This is something that people who work from home do, so it is fitting to do it with an online class. The reasoning behind this, is to be able to get in a zone and be able to do your work, instead of a relaxed mood. When it's time to do online class work, don't do it in your pajamas in bed; get up, go to your workspace, and stay dressed for the day. This will help you stay in an awake mood and be able to focus on the work you need to do.

Tip #4: Create a Schedule


This one goes hand-in-hand with setting reminders. Schedule time specifically dedicated to your online class(es) and make sure you stick to that schedule. Schedule time to learn the material, review, and study before exams. Since you don't have an in-person class to attend, it is very important to schedule time to complete your online class work. Sticking to a specific schedule will also help you to remember to do the tasks for your class.

Tip #5: Ask For Help


If you're not understanding the material, don't just sit around and hope that by the time the exam rolls around you'll understand the information. If you need help, then ask for it. Online classes usually have a hundred students or so in them, many are willing to help and even study with others in the class. Put up a discussion board post asking for help, or email a student who has shared that they are willing to help. If you're uncomfortable with asking a fellow student, then email your professor saying that you're not understanding something. You can even go to their office hours on campus and meet with them if it is something that can't be understood through email. There is no reason for you to struggle just because the class is online. Ask for help if needed.

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