Online college courses can be great. They give you the flexibility to do assignments whenever you please and the best part, you can stay in bed in your PJs and do your assignment. However, there are a few downsides to taking an online class, especially compared to a traditional, in-person class. Below I’ve listed my top 5 tips to surviving and succeeding in an online college course.
Print Out The Syllabus & Write Down Due Dates
The first thing you need to do when being enrolled in an online course is printing out your syllabus and writing down all your due dates. This is important in general for staying organized in college. For more tips and tricks for that, you can check out my post about how to stay organized in college here. When you’re not constantly attending a class in-person, it’s really easy to completely forget about the class in general. Having everything written down in your planner will allow you to visual see due dates, big projects, and plan your semester ahead of time.
I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve always done all my readings in college, BUT I can honestly say, especially when it comes to online courses, I have done significantly better if I did the assigned readings. Since with online courses, you don’t have the in-class aspect with lectures, explanations of key terms, and immediate responses to questions about the material, it’s important to do the readings and truly understand the concepts explained in the text. Without understanding the material, there’s no way you can complete the assignments or pass the quizzes.
Connect With Your Professor
It’s so easy to be almost anonymous with an online course. I highly recommend, however, reaching out to your professor, especially if you have any questions. A lot of professors for the online course especially, are on their emails all the time and will respond back almost immediately since they’re the classroom is based online. So, if I have a question about a paper, project, or other assignments, I always email my professor to clarify my concerns. If you have something come up and you’re unable to meet a deadline, having contact with your professor before this problem arises, will make them more likely to be lenient with extending the deadline.
Do Assignments Ahead of Time
As I mentioned, online classes are great because you can do the assignments whenever it fits your schedule. However, I found that doing the assignments ahead of time works best for me. Most assignments for online courses I’ve taken in the past would be due either on Friday or Sunday, both days that I don’t really want to be doing homework. Doing the assignments earlier in the week ensures not only that it gets done, but it gives me more time to work on it and therefore do a better job if I was to quickly get it done on a Friday night.
Another problem that can occur when doing assignments last-minute is technical errors. WiFi might cut out, your computer crash, or the overall website might be down for a few hours. Making sure the assignment is done ahead of time will ensure that you won’t have to miss any deadlines due to technical difficulties.
Choose Your Online Courses Wisely
My last tip is to choose your online courses wisely. By that, I mean that if a course is critical to your major and making you graduate, I wouldn’t necessarily take the course online. Along with if you know, a course is difficult, I would recommend taking that course in person instead. Classes with extreme importance to you graduating or courses that you know are difficult are, in my opinion, better if you take them in person. Online courses are great for flexibility and basic courses but for more difficult courses, having that one-on-one interaction with students and a professor is so vital to succeeding.
I hope you found these tips helpful when it comes to surviving and succeeding online courses. What are your tips for surviving online courses? Let me know in the comments down below!