Nowadays, everything is online, whether it is communication, sharing platforms, or education. Distant learning or online courses are a great help for people who prefer to stay home for education or people who are not available to attend schools. Not only do they preserve the value of the education, they sometimes are able to deliver more with the help of technology As an increasing amount of universities and colleges are making a move towards online education by offering online classes, it is important to learn how to succeed in those classes.
Why Online Classes?
The whole format of these classes is online. You interact with your fellow classmates and professors via an online forum platform, e-mail or Skype. In physical classes, you actually have to attend a room in your college/university to have lectures and tutorials.
Some actually argue that online classes are better than physical classes. The reasons why this may be is that you can have your own schedule, you are the one in charge of when to study and when to watch your lectures and materials. You have a greater level of independence than on regular classes. Plus, you have more flexibility. While online classes tend to be easier, these require a lot of self-discipline and self-motivation!
How to succeed in Online Classes?
Let’s just move on to how to actually do well in these classes!
1. Create a schedule.
As mentioned before, you have control over your own schedule in online classes. Most of the time you will have a designated day as the deadline to hand in your weekly work thus, you can figure out how you want to spread out your work.
One tip that will help you have good time management skills is to create a schedule. Get you laptop, phone or, if you prefer, your planner or a piece of paper, and write down the deadlines for all your assignments. Then, transfer these into your calendar (whether digital or physical).
2. Stay organized.
You need to make sure you know all the assignments, quizzes, exams and tests that your class may have. Also, you need to know the due dates, which ties up with the previous point.
Create a folder in your laptop for the class. On this folder you will create a subfolder with the various categories of activities that you need to do for your class. For example, have a folder for your privacy law class, and then, add subfolders including: readings, lectures, tutorials, assignments, and exams. On this subfolders you are going to place all the material related to these categories. If you do print any material for the class, make sure that you also have a binder to store it.
3. Check in with your professors.
Just because you do not see your professors or T.A.s on a regular basis does not mean that it is ok for you to neglect them! Make sure that you still maintain contact with them. Whether it is via e-mail, Skype or through the class forum, ensure that you stay in touch with the professors and T.A.s. Since you do not see them, they may not always explicitly state their requirements and expectations for assignments, exams or quizzes. Thus, you need to contact them to find out these aspects that will have a great impact on your grade.
4. Have a good study environment.
Make sure that you have a designated study place where you can focus and get to work when needed. Because you do not have to go to class, you can do all of the work at home. But, it is important that you pick a place in your home where you will be free of distractions. Preferably do your work at your desk. If you live with someone talk to them so that they do not distract you for a number of hours that you will need to study. Make sure that your study environment is well organized, and well-lit.
5. Do your assignments when the material is still fresh in your mind.
I remember when I had my online classes, I would do the required quizzes. essays or exams as soon as I had finished reading and taking notes on the materials that would be covered in those tests. I would highly suggest you do the same, or at least try it. For me it worked really great! In this way, you ensure that the material is still fresh in your mind and, you can remember it clearly.
6. Utilize your resources.
The professor for the class will likely have a bunch of resources ready for you to use. These can include additional material, guides for research or studying the subject, services that you can use to improve in the class. Thus, make sure that you take advantage of these and use them because they can greatly increase your grade.
7. Get into a routine.
When creating your schedule, see if you can find a time which you repeatedly have free. Make this your designated study time for the class. In this way, you can sort of mirror physical classes where you have a specific time for lectures, and such. Online classes take a lot of self-disciple and creating a routine will definitely help you with this.
8. Have a site blocker.
Because you will be doing most of the work on your computer, it is important that you have ways to block your distractions.
Sites I would recommend are SelfControl. You can customize what sites you want to block and for how much time. On that note, make sure that you also keep all of your other electronic devices away from you when working. This is the best way to avoid yourself from being distracted and procrastinating.
Most of the things that you will submit in an online class will be written. That is, e-mails, posts on forums and, assignments. You need to make sure that your work is properly written, formatted and referenced by proofreading and editing your work before submitting. You do not want to lose any marks because of typos.
If you struggle with proofreading, or you just want a helping hand to do this for you, make sure to check out: Grammarly’s Free Plagiarism Checker: Check Your Papers For Plagiarism And Correct Grammar Errors Now!
10. Stay engaged with the coursework.
Finally, find ways to stay engaged with your class. It is so easy to distance yourself from online classes because you have no professor or classmate constantly there in front of you to remind you of the class and the work. Find new and interesting ways to actually involve yourself more with the material. Research more about the topic that you are learning, watch videos about it, learn more information about it.