Taking a college class online or earning an online degree in the comfort of your own home sounds practical, and like it would allow you to relax and stay on top of your online class- but is it really?
Although the idea sounds great in theory, taking an online class is still taking a college level class, except you’re responsible for everything! Not to overwhelm you but “everything” includes:
- Knowing when all assignments are due
- Making time to teach yourself the material and complete your assignments
- Working alone and not having classmates or your teacher to help you at all times
- Always having access to a computer, because “my computer wasn’t working” is not a good excuse
An online class is a ton of responsibility! Luckily, in this blog I will teach all I know on how to stay on top of your online class. Don’t worry, I have taken quite a few myself.
In the beginning of class your teacher will email you a syllabus. This will be your guide to survive the semester, so read it. The three things that are most important to know are your teachers office hours, online programs or books you need for the course, and your weekly assignments and expectations. After you’ve read your syllabus, write down all your assignment’s due dates in your calendar or put alerts in your phone. Staying organized is so important to passing your online class, and knowing when assignments are due ahead of time will help you stay on top!
Online classes take a considerable amount of time and effort, and without the formal setting of the classroom it’s easier to make less time for it. The key is to have a consistent routine! Remember that you are your own teacher, so at the start of the week begin your lesson. Depending on the topic, teaching yourself the lesson could take a few hours, make sure you’ve planned enough time in your week to understand and read through the lesson.
After you have finished learning the lesson begin your homework! Start your homework soon,that way if you have any questions or computer problems you have enough time to email your teacher for help.
Befriend your teacher
Yes, make friends with your teacher. Your online class can be confusing and you need to build a relationship with your teacher to make the class go as smoothly as possible. When you have good communication with your teacher you’re more than just a student on their roster but you’re someone they know and have a relationship with. This connection will help you tremendously if you ever have a problem with your online class, and maybe for a job reference!
Befriending your teacher should be incorporated into your schedule. That means learning when you should email your teacher and how long it takes for he or she to email you back. You don’t want to email them the night before an assignment is due. Also, learn when their office hours are so you don’t interrupt their schedule. Keep in contact with them throughout the semester; ask what you could improve on or study pointers for an upcoming test. Email your teacher as soon as the semester begins an introduce yourself and always end the semester on a good note by thanking them.
Now that you are armed with this helpful list of tips and tricks to help you through your online class, get to work! Be sure to choose your online classes (and professors) carefully and don’t assume that every class will be a breeze. If possible, ask around at school to see if any of your friends or current classmates have taken the class before. This could give you valuable insight, but at the end of the day, staying on top of an online class is your responsibility. Good luck!