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College Advice

5 Tips for Taking Online Classes

DormEssentials March 12, 2020

Due to the recent spread of coronavirus in the US and abroad, many colleges are requiring students to be taking online classes to reduce the risk of infection. For students who’ve never taken an online class before, it can be difficult to know what to expect. In addition, you may not have everything you need at home to succeed at online school and classes. Make sure to check out our top online school essentials. Once you have what you need, here are a few tips for success when taking online classes:

Take it seriously and know your book

A guaranteed way to fail an online class is to not treat it like a real class. Just because you’re not physically in the classroom doesn’t mean you need to take it any less seriously. You still need to learn the material and turn in any assignments you’re given on time.

If you put in the work and treat your online class as seriously as you would a physical class, you’ll be prepared when that final exam rolls around. And trust me, just because it’s online doesn’t make it any easier! Many teachers will end up making their online tests harder because they assume it is a open book experience for students. Read the material beforehand so you remember what section to return to for a given question. You can also consider getting the online version of your book, so that you can use a search functionality.

Set goals for yourself

When you take online classes, you lack the physical presence of a teacher holding you accountable. While the lack of pressure may be a welcome relief, it just means that you’re the only person holding yourself accountable.

Set goals at the beginning of the class for what you want to accomplish. Being in an online class means you have to keep track of when things are due and how long it takes you to do them.

Manage your time wisely

Taking classes online usually givers you a greater flexibility in creating your schedule. This flexibility can be a wonderful freedom that enables you to work at your own pace. However, it can also make it difficult to be productive and manage your time wisely.

Figure out a routine that works best for you and schedule your own office hours. Whether you’re most productive first thing in the morning or late at night, carve out a chunk of time to focus on your work each day and keep up with your course load. Schedule and routine are the keys to staying productive when you lack the accountability of a physical classroom.

Find a buddy

Just because the class is online doesn’t mean you have to forego human contact altogether. Consider meeting regularly with a fellow classmate to go over classwork or schedule study sessions. Even maintaining digital contact with your classmates is an excellent way to stay plugged in and answer any questions you have.

Know the etiquette

Everyone learns how to behave properly in class during kindergarten and elementary school. Online etiquette, however, isn’t always apparent. When you’re on an online conference bridge, you need to make sure your camera is turned off. After all, there’s nothing more embarrassing than being the one pajama-clad student whose image is prominently displayed while everyone else is audio-only.

You also want to ensure that your microphone is on mute whenever you’re not talking. Ambient noise is going to be disruptive when the teacher is trying to communicate with the class, so keep it on mute until you’re ready to chime in.

With these tips in mind, it’s all about keeping the motivation and energy to stay focused even when not in the classroom. The ease of distractions when at home, your apartment, or your dorm are great.

We recommend Energy by Tok Wellness to help you stay focused and motivated!

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