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Online Classes: 2 Tips to Succeed Outside of the Classroom

It’s no secret to anyone that online classes became the new normal in the midst of the global pandemic. In an effort to keep people safe and healthy everyone became a student of Zoom University having no other choice but to learn through a computer screen. Even now, since restrictions have been lifted, online classes are still prevalent on our college campuses. I don’t know about the rest of you but online classes were challenging for me at first. The temptation to disengage and not be present and accounted for was strong. Eventually I learned a couple things that were key to my success.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Online classes have the potential to allow you many freedoms with your time and schedule. If you take asynchronous online classes, I feel that far too often we don’t always have the discipline to hold ourselves accountable. Asynchronous classes are good and bad. You have the freedom to work at your own pace, there isn’t a specific class time and as long as your work gets done on time then you’re good to go. The trouble comes when that freedom isn’t used responsibly. It’s easy for classes like these to get put on the back burner because they don’t seem as important or have that same sense of urgency that traditional courses have. Therefore, you have to hold yourself accountable and stay on top of your work. Creating a regular study schedule can help with this.

Create a Schedule and Stick to it

If you make time to study and complete work for an in-person class, then I recommend doing the same for an online class. In fact, I think it’s super important to make sure that you delegate time in your schedule throughout the week to make sure you complete assignments, study for tests, write papers etc. for your online class because of how easy it is to neglect it. Here’s a rule of thumb I was taught by my professors at NIU: For every 1 credit hour you are enrolled in, you are supposed to dedicate one hour of your time to study for that class every week. For example, if you are taking five three credit hour classes, that’s a total of 15 credit hours and 15 hours of studying every week. Now, most people don’t dedicate that much time to studying but this does illustrate the bigger picture: you have to make time for your education. Think about when you are most productive. Some people are most productive early in the morning, late at night or in the middle of the day. Whenever you feel that you can be the most focused and productive is when you should try to get a good chunk of school work done. Once you figure out a schedule that works for you, stick to it as best you can.



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