Going the distance: How to excel in online classes
Distance learning, or online education, is a great opportunity that provides students the ability to learn in a flexible environment and exercise self-discipline. Whether you’re taking one virtual class this semester or earning your degree completely online, here are some tips to help you excel in this type of course.
Tip 1: Get up and get dressed
One of the appealing things about online classes is being able to stay in your pajamas all day! As wonderful as it is to be cozy, try to get up and get dressed like you would if you were going to campus for class. Your bed isn’t the most conducive learning environment, since it is associated with rest and relaxation rather than hard work and hustle. Getting yourself ready and doing work at a desk, in the library, or at your favorite coffee shop will make you feel like your online class is more legitimate, and will make you want to put in the effort!
Tip 2: Make an impression
When you are enrolled in an online course, it’s easy to hide behind the computer screen and profile picture. Make yourself stand out by creating a relationship with your professor! You could set up a phone call appointment. Reaching out however you can is guaranteed to impress your professor and signal your commitment to learning. Who knows, they might even help you get internships or jobs in the future! A 5 to 10 minute chat could lead to a lifetime of referrals and network connections.
Tip 3: Utilize campus resources
Online students are students, after all! If you are near the campus offering your online courses, don’t be afraid to use all the wonderful resources offered there. Having trouble writing that paper? Contact the Writing Center! Struggling with those math problems? Try seeking help from tutors or during your professor’s office hours. Don’t be scared or hesitate to capitalize on all the perks of being a college student. Being connected to the campus – even virtually – can enrich your experience and help you create great memories.
Tip 4: Manage your time
It’s easy to get carried away with the freedom that comes as a perk to online courses. In order to be successful, you must exercise self-discipline and time management skills. My advice: treat your school like a 9-5 job (assuming you don’t already have one). Setting up certain periods of time to be productive can help you avoid furiously typing a paper to meet that 11:59 pm deadline.
Technology has made online learning available to all kinds of students. However, keep in mind that online learning isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay! Give it a try and see how you adjust to the new setting.