Let me guess, your first thought when you found out about online classes was, “YES! Sleeping in! No more going to class! I can Google every question, YESSSSSSSSSS!” Don’t get me wrong, that’s partially true and a great benefit to online classes. But after taking quite a few for myself I feel like I’ve been around the block. So today I give you my ultimate guide to surviving your online college classes.
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Like I said, there are many pros and cons to taking online classes. It is very nice to be able to do your work on your own time and be able to guide yourself at a pace that is appropriate for your learning style. But online classes do take an extreme amount of diligence and self-discipline. There’s no one holding your hand and reminding you of due dates, it’s all on you.
1. Put It On Your Weekly Schedule
Take the time to decide when you are going to work on the class and it’s assignments. Set aside a time for the class and make it a part of your schedule just like a “normal” class. Do NOT just be like “I’ll just do it when I feel like it”. Set a time, stick to it. You will thank me later. This is my favorite planner to use!
2. Don’t Wait Till The Last Minute
It’s pretty much impossible to be in college and not procrastinate at least a little bit. But take my advice, learn from me and try to always finish the assignment and attempt to turn it in well before it’s due. Something could go wrong (literally anything) and you may not be able to get ahold of your professor in time to resolve the issue. Technology is NOT always 100% reliable.
3. Make a List of ALL Major Assignments
Making a list of all the assignments in the course can be a major help when you’re in a bind and can’t remember what comes next. Write down the assignment and their due dates and keep them close. This way you don’t forget anything and are always on top of what is going on in the course.
Pro Tip: Set up a time frame of when you want to work on the assignment and when you expect to have it done. Make a schedule and stick to it.
Pro Tip 2: Use an assignment tracker. This will help you keep up with due dates and your grades. (I have one below! It’s floral and cute, I promise 😉 )
4. Make a Friend (Even If It’s The Professor)
Get to know someone else in the course and partner up. Are you having trouble with a specific section? Ask them. Maybe they know how to help you. You will both benefit and will be grateful to know someone else in the course. Of course, there’s the obvious as well… Ask the professor!! Even though you aren’t meeting week to week like a normal course, they are still wanting to hear from you and to have you be successful in their class.
5. E-mail Your Professor
When emailing your professor a question about an assignment, give them all they need to know so you don’t waste time emailing back and forth. The class name, section, and assignment name. These are all important to include since they probably teach multiple classes. Always ask specific questions and re-read it a few times to make sure you are making sense. Don’t say, “So, what’s up with the assignment for next week?” That’s not a legit question that a professor can answer.
6. Keep Up With The Material
There are often online lectures for you to read, but don’t be caught of guard when there’s a question that comes up and it’s not in the lecture. It most likely will be from the course book (that assigned reading you told yourself you’d do and then NEVER even touched). With that in mind, remember that the textbooks and other outside resources will be your friend in an online course. Take advantage of them if you can.
7. Quizlet (also Google) Is Your Friend
Maybe you’re taking an online class that you have NO interest in, but HAVE to take to fulfill a general course requirement (yawwwnnnnn). Quizlet has a plethora of flashcards and answers (that many professors get their questions from, but you didn’t hear it from me). You can often find what you’re looking for through a simple Google search. Be careful not to rely on it too heavily because come test day, if it’s timed, it may not give you enough time to look up every question. Be sure to use it as a resource and not as a crutch.
8. Use An Alarm/Calendar Reminder
I can’t even tell you how helpful this is. Set a calendar reminder on your phone for the class. Life gets hectic and even I have almost let due dates slip by because of accidentally forgetting about an assignment. Don’t let my mistake happen to you!
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I hope this has been helpful! College classes don’t have to be stressful. Let me know your best tips for online college classes in the comments below. 🙂
Don’t forget to pick up your FREE assignment tracker below to help keep up with all those assignments! (You can print it over and over again! I also promise I will NOT spam your inbox.)