Until fall of 2020 most schools are going to be all online classes.
For some this will be an easy transition but for others it’s going to be really difficult. So I thought to compile 7 helpful tips for taking online classes.
1) Know every deadline
Without a teacher or professor reminding you in class, it’s easy to lose track of deadlines and test days. So get an academic planner and write down every deadline and keep it updated as things change. Online classes can be very fluid so stay on top of changes and keep a close eye out for messages/updates from your teacher.
For online classes it’s also important to know the exact time things are due and that tests will take place.
Sometimes it will be the beginning of your class time, sometimes they end, sometimes midnight, or a totally random time! And it can vary within the same class. So make sure you also write down the exact time things are due.
2) Don’t let yourself believe it’s “just an online class”
It is very each to kind of write off online classes.
But even if your class truly is easier when it’s online it’s still an opportunity to learn and it may also filter into future classes. For example, maybe this is an online trigonometry class and all the quizzes are multiple choice and the answers are on quizlet. Cool but what happens when you get to calculus and you don’t understand trig? Learn the material!
Also, don’t ever assume a class is going to be easy because it’s online. I have had classes that were actually harder that were online. This can be for a variety of reasons but the moral of this is don’t assume that a class is easy just because it is online.
3) Create a good study space
Hint: your bed is not a good study space.
I understand that not everyone is able to have a desk in their room and you have to make what you have work. If this is the case for you then make sure to make your bed and try to keep it as “decluttered” as possible. Also, try to sit up in your bed while you study rather than sitting down.
For those who have a desk clear off the desk of anything non-academic and get it organized. Make sure you have any supplies you will need easily accessible. Get your chargers for your laptop and phone plugged in and find the best way to keep the cords out of your way. Try to find the best position for your laptop and your notebook (if you are using one).
4) Turn off your phone during studying/lectures
Either turn off your phone or at least put it on do not disturb. Not only does your focus get interrupted every time your phone buzzes but it’s also so easy to fall down a social media hole and miss half the class or not get your assignment in on time.
Use your phone as kind of a “reward” for working hard!
5) Participate in your class
Participating in class has 2 benefits:
A: helps you stay engaged. Participating keeps you engaged with the class which keeps your brain from losing attention. It’s incredibly easy to kind of “drift away” during an online lecture so participating in the question asking/answering will help keep you engaged and focused.
B: can help your grade. I would say about half of my online classes has participation credit that you needed to get but even if your class doesn’t have it your teacher will notice if you are participating or not! Staying on a teacher’s good side is easy in an online class, just ask a few questions or answer their questions!
6) If you’re not “tech savvy”, find someone who is
I am decently tech savvy but when sites start crashing or I can’t get the internet back on after trying the basic things then I have to ask for help.
Do not be embarrassed asking for computer/technology help when it comes to online classes! This is your education on the line and sometimes online classes can lead to strange technology questions that not every one will know so ask for help!
7) Don’t be afraid to get clarification
If you have a question then make sure to ask! It’s super easy to fall behind or get lost in an online class. So don’t be afraid to ask questions on the material to make sure you fully understand.
Also, if there is any confusion about test times or due dates then make sure to ask. It’s, unfortunately, pretty common for online classes to have due dates in a couple different places and they can end up being updated or changed in one place but not others.
So never be afraid to ask!