An online class is quite different from your typical lecture. They can also vary in type — sometimes you meet online at a designated time, and sometimes the structure is more of an “at your own pace” style. Whatever the case may be, it is important to be prepared! After taking a few online classes myself, I have learned a few tips that I want to share with you.
Obviously you want to be organized for each of your classes, but online classes sometimes require even more preparation. It is easy to get behind in an online class, and due dates can sneak up on you. Make sure that when the semester starts, you take some time to make notes of any due dates or tests in your agenda or calendar. I’ve definitely missed a quiz before in an online class due to ignorance, and sometimes it can be the difference of a letter grade at the end of the semester.
It can be intimidating to email a professor or attend their office hours, but do not be afraid to reach out to your online prof. If you have a question, or need clarification on something, it’s important to get in touch. This is especially important because you are not seeing them in class each week. From my experience, online professors are more responsive than traditional class instructors.
Even if it feels different, you should treat your online class like any other course. I recommend dedicating a time each week when you plan to work on the class material. It is very important with an online class structure to plan ahead to avoid getting behind. Also, if the professor does not provide a course outline of the material, then make your own! Decide ahead of time when exactly you plan to study each course topic, so you do not fall behind and end up cramming before an exam.
Online classes are not for everyone, but they be beneficial for people who don’t have flexible schedules! Make sure if you do decide to take an online class, you’re still as focused on it as you would be on any other course.