Excel in Online Classes Even if You’re a Face to Face Learner


For those who work full time or have families to care for, earning a degree can be a huge challenge. However, online classes make it easier than ever for driven individuals to continue their education without rearranging their lives. While some individuals may prefer the face-to-face interaction provided by a traditional classroom setting, other people value the flexibility online courses offer when completing a degree. If online courses sound appealing to you, the tips below will teach you how to learn and excel in online classes when you can’t commute to campus.

Eight tips for excelling in online classes

1. Confirm technical requirements

In the days leading up to the beginning of your classes, confirm that your computer is compatible with the online learning environment. If you plan on using more than one computer, like a desktop and a tablet, make sure your online courses are accessible from all of these devices.

2. Introduce yourself to the instructor early

You never know when you’ll need the assistance of your online course instructors, which is why it is crucial to get in touch with each one before classes begin. Introduce yourself, discuss office hours and inquire about any additional preparation that might help you succeed. Building a relationship with your instructors will help you make the most of your online learning experience.

3. Make a schedule and stick to it

You can login to review your online course material at any time. This availability is a double-edged sword because while it provides you with flexibility, it can also lead to you forgetting to complete assignments on time. Create a schedule for each of your online classes and stick to it. If Thursday evening is the night you’ve dedicated to study each week, don’t make other plans for that night. Log the time on your calendar or in a day planner so it’s blocked out each week.

4. Designate a dedicated work space

This space could be your desk at home, a study room at your local library or the corner table at your favorite neighborhood cafe. Locate a spot where you can concentrate on your online class work. The more consistency you build into your online course routine, the more likely you will be to follow through with the work for your classes.

5. Plan ahead

Preparation is key to online course success. If you need someone to watch the kids so you can study, book a babysitter. If you need to use headphones so you can listen to instructor videos, make sure there’s a designated set with your computer. Always have the supplies you need so you’re prepared when the time comes to dive into your course work for the week.

6. Take notes

Taking notes while reviewing online lectures and reading assignments not only helps you when you’re studying for exams, it also encourages you to more actively engage with the material. Sometimes remaining focused on an hour-long video lecture can be tough, but if you’re writing notes you’re more likely to absorb the information.

7. Engage your classmates

Many instructors include classroom engagement in their students’ final grades. In an online course, a forum is used so students can discuss the material and work together to better grasp course concepts. Take advantage of this tool. Ask questions, share thoughts and try to connect with other students who you can study with offline. Participate often and enthusiastically with your fellow students for an enhanced learning experience.

8. Have a backup plan

Computers break, favorite workplaces can be otherwise occupied, and schedules can fall off track because life happens. Schedule some extra study time in case something comes up, and locate a backup computer in case yours crashes. Also, since you started communicating with your instructors before the courses started, keep in touch with them and reach out if you need assistance.

These are just a few of the many ways you can learn and excel in an online class.

Explore online programs

City University of Seattle offers both in person and online degree programs designed especially for working adults and transfer students. Explore CityU’s academic programs online, or contact us for more information.

Published August 10, 2016



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