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Tips For Success With Online Classes

African american man doing an online course at his desk

Online classes for students in primary education and college aren’t new. They are very common right now, however, since so many schools are closed for weeks or even longer due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Moving to an online learning environment when you aren’t used to it can be challenging, but not impossible. There are some schools that are entirely online, so it can be valuable to take some notes from people who are experienced in an online learning environment moving forward.

The following are things to keep in mind so you can be successful in online classes.

View Your Classes as “Real” Courses

Whether you’re taking online classes now because of the Covid-19 outbreak, or you’re enrolled in a class that’s always online, you need to make sure that you are treating it like what it is—a real course.
Sometimes people get stuck in the idea that it’s somehow not as important as a real class or they don’t have to put in the work, and that can lead to failure.

Create a Study Space

The idea of creating a dedicated space when you’re taking a class at home is similar to what people who work from home do. You need a dedicated environment that you use for learning because this will help you create a routine.

Not everyone is going to have the same setting that works for them as far as being productive and you may need to experiment with what you’ll work best in, but regardless of the specifics, having that space is critical.

You’ll want to have a high-speed internet connection, and you should keep a calendar in your workspace with all the important dates from your syllabus. You’ll want to make sure if you’re in a shared space you have headphones too.

Log In Every Time You Have a Class

Sometimes if you’re taking an online class you might login only when you have something due, but as with any other type of class, you need to be listening to lectures as much as possible.
Plus, if you login you don’t have to worry about missing any surprise assignments.

Get the Know the Teacher or Professor

The more you can build a relationship with your teacher or professor, the more accountable you’re likely to feel each day. You can send an initial email to introduce yourself if the class is just starting, and that way, you’re going to be more encouraged to log into the class when you have it. You can also regularly communicate with them about questions you might have.

Similarly, another good way to stay accountable is to connect with the other students in your class.  This will help you feel the need to participate more actively, and you might also find benefits when it comes to studying and preparing. Plus, if you’re doing an online class because of Covid-19, it can give you some much needed personal interactions.

Consider a Website Blocker

As more people are learning and working from home, we’re seeing the importance of remaining focused but that’s tough. You might want to check the news or your favorite social media website over and over again. That can turn into a productivity issue.

There are unique tools such as website blockers you can use to ensure you stay productive if you’re learning online. A good example of this is Cold Turkey. With Cold Turkey, you can limit distractions based on the site itself, or set a daily time limit. You can also use either a default distraction list or create customized blocklists. You can also block the entire internet if you feel that’s best.

Figure Out Your Learning Style

Not everyone learns the same way, and when you’re doing an online class or several online classes you can explore what works for you. For example, if you work best late at night, that’s okay. Some people find that they work best in the early morning on the other hand and then start to peter out later in the day.

Maybe you also learn best by watching video lectures and taking notes, or perhaps you just like to listen to the audio from lectures without visuals. There’s no right or wrong here, but you have to find the way you work.

Finally, work on developing your time management skills and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t all come naturally to you at one time. These are skills you can build and hopefully then use well into the future.

For more great career and education tips, make sure you read the other blogs on Career Geek.

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