Originally posted on Academic and Learning Support
TIPS FOR EXCELLING ONLINE
Do you want to know how to be successful in an online course? Here are a few online learning tips to help you succeed in the virtual classroom.
Treat It Like a ‘Real’ Class
Online classes are still classes. You need to have the discipline to sit down and say, “I am going to work on this”, as well as the dedication to actually follow-through.
Consciously choose to show up; absorb the content; schedule in assignments, lectures and tasks; and, set yourself up for success. Set daily goals and make checklists to help you succeed and work efficiently and independently. Have a ‘success’ mindset!
Manage Your Time Carefully
People generally do better in a structured environment. So why not make it even easier for yourself? Scheduling flexibility is very important to most of us. It is important to think of ‘flexibility’ as the right to create your own schedule, not to abandon schedules altogether.
It’s up to you to make sure you’ve allotted enough time to complete the work. You will be more productive by setting aside designated periods throughout the week to view course material and complete readings, coursework and assignments.
If you’re having trouble holding yourself responsible, pair up with a fellow classmate or enlist the help of a family member to check in as an accountability partner.
Have a Designated Study Space and Stay Organized
Set up a dedicated study space. By completing your work there repeatedly, you’ll begin to establish a routine.
Setting up a regular workspace or office will also help you stay organized. Knowing exactly where important dates, files, syllabi, books and assignments are will help keep you on track.
Social media, pets, TV, household chores ... these are all fodder for serial procrastination. Using Apps like Cold Turkey and Freedom can help eliminate distractions by blocking apps or websites that can compete for your attention, like Facebook and Instagram.
Regardless of where you choose to work, consider turning off your cellphone to avoid losing focus every time a text message or notification pops up.
Don’t Let the Work Stack Up
Things happen. We all need a break. Make sure if you lose a study day for whatever reason, you don’t procrastinate when it comes to making up for it. Having a detailed calendar of what you will accomplish each day will definitely give you the base you need to achieve your goals.
Participate in the course’s online forum to help you better understand course materials and engage with fellow classmates. This might be commenting on a classmate’s discussion, or asking a burning question you have about the assignment that you’re working on. Read what other students and your instructor are saying, and if you have a question, ask for clarification.
Check the forums as often as you can too. And if you find yourself falling behind, speak up. Email your instructor and be proactive in asking for help.
Leverage Your Community
Online classes can sometimes feel isolating. Make an effort to build relationships with other students by introducing yourself and engaging in online discussion board.
Your peers can be valuable resources when preparing for exams or asking for feedback on assignments. Create a virtual study group. Chances are your peers will appreciate it just as much as you will.
Write down important points. Just like a typical classroom setting, taking notes will make it easier to remember the important pieces of information you will need to retain.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Even the most disciplined of us have days where we don’t get as much done as we’d like. There’s no sense in beating yourself up over it. Reach out to your instructor if you are running into challenges during the course. instructors are there to help you, and provide guidance! Most importantly, take good care of yourself.