How to Succeed in an Online Class

man studies attentively while working on an online class
fizkes / Shutterstock

Internet has revolutionized the world of education. Today, ebooks can replace textbook stacks and productivity applications now help students stay focused. And some students even take classes without leaving the house, thanks to the online courses.

Whether you are taking an online study program or simply taking a free online course to learn new skills, online courses can be wonderful. However, they also offer unique challenges, quite different from those of a classroom.

How can you do online school work for you? These tips will help you get the most out of online courses, from beginner cooking classes to advanced math classes.

Schedule your own "class time"

One of the most difficult and difficult aspects of online courses is the lack of strict planning. Although some items (such as video conferences) can happen live, most of the time, online courses require you to manage your time.

If you have difficulty with time management, consider scheduling a defined number of hours over a defined number of days. You can ask the teacher how many hours a week the class takes to help you establish your schedule. Then, each time you have scheduled a "class time", you will be able to sit down and focus on the day's needs.

Although hours will likely fluctuate as the semester progresses, this structure will help you stay focused and avoid falling behind.

Practice with early technical tools

If you are good at learning new applications and browsing new websites, this will probably not be a problem. Nevertheless, you need to determine the tools and platforms you will need early, and spend an hour or two understanding them during the first week. If you already know how to navigate the required sites and use the right technology tools, you will not be slowed down when the class really starts.

Reach out to your teacher

As soon as you start having problems with something in class, consider contacting your teacher. It is often better to tackle small problems now than to wait until they become big problems.

For example, if you do not fully understand a task or if you do not know how the discussion board works, send a message immediately. Most professors appreciate communication students and will be happy to help you. Your classmates can also be great resources. You can write them a message or an e-mail.

Try a handwritten calendar

young woman listening headphones while filling her paper calendar
Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

Writing things by hand can help you remember them better, and other benefits for your learning too.

While everyone needs to find the system that suits them best, consider tracking your tasks and deadlines in a physical notebook to take advantage of these benefits. You may even want to take your class notes by hand.

Understand how you work best

Although online courses are interesting, everyone has different learning styles. Pay attention to what is best for you and use that knowledge to maximize your success.

For example, if you find that reading on paper is easier than reading on a computer, consider going to the library to print as many course materials as possible. If you find it easier to focus in a classroom than at home, try going to the library or another place your "class time" to make you feel like you're going to school. You can even ask another student to sit down and study with you to increase that "class" feeling.

Also try taking your classes at the time of day when you work best. This is one of the most important benefits of online school: being able to work when your mind is the most alert. Experiment with studies at different times until you find what suits you.

After trying, you may realize that online school is not the best solution for you. I am fine too. But even if you are not naturally inclined to learn online, you can almost always use strategies like these. And for more ideas to help you succeed in online classes, try our favorite productivity tips.

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