How to Succeed During Your Online Classes
February 10, 2020 |
Previously, earning a college degree or professional certificate used to mean attending in-person classes. Today, we have the option to find educational programs that offer more flexible options through in-person classes, online learning, or a combination of the two.
Online schools allow you to learn whenever, wherever, and however works best for you. According to Babson Survey Research Group, about 33 percent of college students are taking at least one online course. The flexibility of online classes allows you to access top programs around the world that would be downright impossible to attend in-person.
While there are many benefits to completing an online degree, studying online presents many unique challenges. Being prepared for an online classroom setting will set you up for success and allow you to get the most value out of your online education. So how can you ace an online class? Use our tips to learn how to be more prepared for your next online class.
Develop time management skills
Being successful in an online setting requires you to learn how to manage your time. We recommend getting a planner or calendar to help schedule what you need to accomplish and when you need to have tasks finished by.
Once you have your tasks outlined, find a specific time every day you can set aside for school work and isolate yourself from any distractions. That means eliminating things like social media, your phone, and even the television. If you create a structured learning environment, you’ll be able to stay on task and get your work done in a timely manner.
Online classes can be challenging because they require you to actively listen and pay attention for much longer than a traditional classroom setting. It is important to remain engaged during your online class and take notes, highlight important information in your textbook, and sometimes record important lectures. Just like in a traditional learning environment, you are expected to retain high-level information for tests, quizzes, and your future profession.
While taking notes helps you retain information, go the extra mile by participating in the course’s online forum or discussion board. Actively participating and checking in on a regular basis can help you better understand course materials, engage with fellow classmates, and even challenge your way of thinking.
Read what other students and your professor are saying, chances are it will be important later on. If you have a question or feel like you are falling behind, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help.
Networking and building a professional network has been, and always will be, an essential skill. In order to build a network while enrolled in an online class, we encourage you to connect with your classmates. Online portals, discussion boards, and social media can help you find students in the same course, and maybe even in the same area as you. Consider creating study groups, exchanging helpful tips and resources, proofreading assignments and essays for one another, and staying in touch long after the course ends.
Free resources like LinkedIn allow you to easily build and maintain your professional networks. You may even want to connect with your professor, instructor, or TA. You never know how you may be able to leverage your network in the future.
Build a Portfolio
A portfolio is a compilation of the work you’ve completed, your accomplishments, and skills. It is often tangible proof of the value you could bring to a workplace. Just because you’re taking an online course doesn’t mean you can’t use the work for your portfolio. Include projects, assignments, and presentations from your online class to prove your value to a future employer.
While online classes can present unique challenges, they also provide many opportunities for working professionals or those with busy schedules. Enjoy the flexibility of an online learning schedule, but make sure you come prepared and have a plan to succeed.