Eight Steps to Acing an Online Class

By: Autumn Johnson, johnsonau@mnstat.edu

College courses are already stressful, so having in-class lectures and an online class can get to be a lot for some people. It is easy to put off an online course because you don’t physically go to class, and your professor doesn’t actually remind you of assignments that are due. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of things and ace that online course.


1) Manage your time:

Check on your online course everyday. Write down all of the important dates from the syllabus. Plan to work on your online course about 2-3 hours a day. Don’t fall behind!

2) Talk to your professor:

 If you have questions about an assignment or the syllabus be sure to reach out to your professors. Especially in online courses your professor is very on top of getting back to you and is willing to make sure you understand the assignment.


3) Stay away from distractions:

It is easy to get distracted when you are doing your online work because a lot of it is reading. Make sure to find a quiet study place free of distractions so you can get your work done.

4) Be tech savvy:

As soon as your online course opens up, you should get to know the system. You don’t want any surprises when it comes to turning in assignments or taking quizzes and tests. Also, don’t wait until an hour before it is due to take a test/quiz or turn in an assignment. Your WiFi could lose connection or the system could go down—anything can happen, so plan ahead for a disaster.

5) Take notes:

Taking notes for an online course could actually be more beneficial.  A lot of online courses have readings you need to complete. Taking notes while you are reading is beneficial because some professors don’t have Power Points available. Taking notes will help you study more efficiently and clarify the important points from the lecture.

6) Contact classmates:

A lot of online courses have a class list posted so you can see who is in your class. Contact some people from your class so you can bounce ideas off of each other and ask them questions about anything you are confused on.

7) Participate in class discussions:

Just because you are taking an online course doesn’t mean you get out of group projects or don’t have to voice your opinion. Stay connected and participate in discussions. Don’t just get it done to complete it; really take your time and comment on other discussions to connect with classmates.

8) Stay motivated:

Sometimes students put off online courses because we think they aren’t as important as in-class lectures. Stay on top of things and get excited about your online course. Hammer out a couple of assignments a day, and the class will be over before you know it!

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