5 Tips on How to Be Successful in Online Classes

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Remote Learning

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It’s the dawn of another school year, yet this time it’s a little different. Few college students are heading back to dorm rooms. Instead, COVID-19 is still raging, and distance learning is the norm. Online classes and remote learning will take place from the comfort of your home, and you’ll have to learn how to be successful in this setting (even if they throw some unique challenges your way!).

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the best tips for success in online classes. You’ve got this!

  • Set a schedule

You may be looking forward to the increased flexibility that your online classes provide. No 8 AM lectures, no running between classes, no missing mealtimes. Sounds great, right?

As nice as this flexibility is, you’ll want to set your own realistic, consistent schedule about when to “take” your classes. Your lectures and assignments may be provided to you at the start of the semester, but it’s easy to procrastinate without having weekly in-person meetings to keep you on track. Pull out a calendar and decide when you’ll “go to class” each week.

  • Reach out to your peers

Engaging with your peers and learning from them is a core component of college. This element doesn’t have to suffer entirely because of remote learning. You may not have the same connection you would to a classmate in an online class, but you can still video conference together or collaborate on study guides (if permitted).

Don’t hesitate to reach out if your class has some kind of online forum. You may be able to form a study group or find accountability partners, which can truly enhance the experience of remote learning.

  • Have a dedicated study space

It’s tempting to do all your work from your bed or couch. It’s comfortable and cozy, and this is why online classes are great, right? Not exactly.

There’s a reason why classrooms attempt to eliminate distractions. If you’re sitting on your bed, you may be drawn to take a nap. If you’re sitting next to your gaming system, you may be lured to play. Schoolwork? That can wait.

Instead, create a dedicated study space where your brain knows it’s time to work. A study space can help you stay focus when it comes to remote learning.

  • Beware of deadlines

In-person classes often have reminders about upcoming assignments. When you’re in online classes, the lectures may not be live, or you could miss reminder emails. At the start of a class (or classes), be sure to read through the syllabus and find all the deadlines for remote learning. Put this in your existing calendar so you can keep an eye out for deadlines.

If you’re not a calendar user, another tactic you may use is creating a list of all the assignment deadlines from all your classes in order. It may look something like this.

  • 9/15: Women’s & Gender Studies Assignment Due
  • 9/22: World History Paper 1 Due
  • 10/7: Philosophy Paper 1 Due
  • 10/27: Calculus Midterm Exam

If you do this for the entire semester, keep it in a central place, and continually refer to it, you’ll never miss an important deadline!

  • Use the resources provided

Online classes can feel isolating, so make sure you use the resources your teacher provides. Whether these are additional study materials, virtual office hours, or an additional session to help you prepare for an exam, it pays to use these resources. Don’t pass them up!

Final thoughts

Remote learning has some exceptional opportunities and challenges. While you may not have expected your college education to occur via video chat, know that you can make the most of online classes. Use the tips above and don’t be afraid to reach out if you begin to fall behind!


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