Top 8 Tips for Taking Online Classes

Top 8 Tips for Taking Online Classes

Going to school online can be challenging for some, but great for others. Why?

Well, some people are more suited to online learning than others, but even those to whom virtual learning does not come naturally can succeed when they apply certain helpful strategies.

If you know how to approach online classes and how to get the most from this type of learning, you may even find you like them as much or more than in-person learning. Discovering and applying helpful and applicable tips for taking online classes may be all you need.

Online learning is nothing new, but more and more people are turning to virtual education now due to the spread of Covid-19. People of all ages and learners of all subjects are, in some cases, being forced to embrace technology in this way. Some other people, however, have enjoyed online learning for decades, and as a result, they have gone ahead and learned the ropes for you. Now you can harness their knowledge to your benefit and skip all of the experimentation.

Read on for ten great tips for taking online classes. Although some may not sound up your alley at first, take time to give all of them a shot. You’ll be amazed at how much these tips can help you become a better online learner.

1. Stick to a Schedule

Perhaps the very best advice when it comes to taking online classes is that you should stick to a schedule. Of all the tips for taking online classes, this one is the most important, and it is multi-faceted, too.

First, you should look at your online class as if it were a regular, in-person class or a job. Many people love online classes because they can complete the work anytime, but then they find themselves scrambling to complete assignments at the last possible minute.

Set a firm schedule of days of the week and blocks of time on those days during which you work on classwork and stick to it. Some people think that online classes are easier or are something that can be blown off, but this is often not the case, and it is definitely not the case if you wish to get something out of the class. You should plan to spend as much time on an online class as you would in an in-person class offering the same number of credits.

Second, at the beginning of the semester, use the syllabus to understand and schedule the girth and timeframe of the required assignments, quizzes, and tests. Put these on a calendar and check the calendar often. As a virtual learner, you will not have the opportunity to benefit from reminders from the teacher and your classmates. Staying on track is up to you.

2. Create a Study Area

Since you will be spending a lot of time at your computer, it’s crucial that you create a study area somewhere in your home that is comfortable but that has few distractions. This is a simple tip but it is one you’ll be happy you followed.

Encourage your family to respect your space and you while you are in it. Designated study areas are great because they allow you to keep all of your materials in one place and also because you will soon associate that location with studying, and you will find focus more rapidly as a result.

3. Take Advantage of Available Resources 

Even though you are not on campus, there are so many resources available to you as a virtual learner. Take advantage of them. Students of any age have access to their school’s online library and all of the related resources and databases to which it subscribes. If you don’t know how to access these things, contact the institution’s librarian, and he or she would love to lend a hand.

Your teacher is also a great resource. Just because a class is online does not mean the teacher does not want to speak to students – it’s likely quite the opposite! Reach out to your teacher via email for direct questions as often as they arise. 

4. Organization is Key

Even though everything from your class will be saved on your computer, it’s easy to lose things if you don’t make an effort to stay organized. Create folders and nested folders on your desktop or in your Documents folder to keep everything together, and take time to name your files in a way that makes sense to you.

5. Be a Good Note Taker 

It’s tempting to skip the note-taking process entirely since you can access class materials online, but note-taking is a huge help when it comes to learning and to retaining what you have learned.

Take good notes and organize them in an outline format. Highlight important points in your reading. Go over your notes periodically to help with the retention of information that is new to you. Taking notes can make all the difference when reading class material or even when listening to elearning voice overs. 

6. Connect With Classmates

Make an effort to connect with your classmates. It’s easy to forget they are there since you don’t see them, but making connections is a big part of learning at any level. Read the others’ comments on discussion threads and respond thoughtfully when appropriate. Direct message or text other students for private commentary or to clarify an assignment. Find other students to study with and get together via video chat. The possibilities are endless for connecting with others, so don’t miss out on these opportunities.

7. Stay Engaged 

In a virtual classroom, it’s easy to get lazy and to fall into a habit of passive learning. You will get so much more out of your class, though, if you work hard to be an active learner. Stay engaged in the class and be proactive about your learning and you will achieve success.

Ask lots of questions and post many comments. Reach out to the other students and to your teacher on a regular basis. Go above and beyond and learn more about class topics during your free time, too. 

8. Take Care of Yourself

Finally, the best way to be a successful online learner is to take good care of yourself. Don’t spend every waking hour of your day in front of the computer. Get outside, get some fresh air, and get some exercise. Eat right and get lots of rest. Hydrate. When you are engaging in online learning, take breaks as needed. All of these little things will result in a happier you, and a happier you is undoubtedly a better student.

Good Luck With These Tips for Taking Online Classes

Each of these tips for taking online classes will be helpful on its own, but why not put them all together for truly fantastic results? It may be difficult to incorporate all these tips at once, but try one or two at a time and see the difference. From there, you’ll want to apply them all, then watch your grades soar. Good luck and happy online learning! 

If you are looking for more great articles about preparing for and succeeding in college, check out the Tools section of our site.