Online college classes have exploded in recent years. In 2012, the Survey of Online Learning found that over 6.7 million students were taking at least one college course online, and that number has continued to grow year after year. These classes are extremely popular due to their flexible scheduling that allows students to fit them in around jobs, sports, and other activities. But if you’re not the super-organized type, online classes can be difficult to manage. Without the structure of a brick and mortar classroom, many students find passing these classes to be a lot harder than they bargained for. Have you been struggling with online classes? Here are our top tips for making those courses a breeze.
Don’t Miss Deadlines
One of the biggest pitfalls of online classrooms is thinking that you can get the work done whenever you want but online classes have just as many deadlines and due dates as traditional classes. It’s easier to get behind without having a scheduled weekly class to remind you when to get the work done. It’s extremely important that you stay on top of your assignments if you want to pass. Starting on day one, open up the syllabus to the class and jot down important test dates and due dates for the course in your calendar. Set reminders on your phone or computer to go off a few days in advance of these deadlines so don’t procrastinate and have time to get the work done.
Set a Class Time for Yourself
Flexibility is a huge draw for online classes, and most students love the ability to watch lectures and complete assignments whenever they choose. But this can also get you into trouble if you don’t stay on top of things. Be sure to set aside a specific time every day or every other day to work on the course material and stay up-to-date with the latest assignments. It doesn’t matter if you choose midnight on Tuesdays, or six AM every other weekday, just make sure you stick to it. And if you find it difficult to concentrate on your work while you’re at home, get out of the house to study. Whether you prefer the library or the local coffee shop, having a place to work that is free from distractions is extremely important.
Find a Study Buddy
Online classes can be lonely. Yes, modern online classes typically utilize video chat, online message boards, and other forms of interaction, but it can still be hard to find the motivation to complete the work when you’re on your own. Find a friend to sign up for the same online class as you or message people in the class and ask if they’d like to work together. You can meet up to tackle assignments in person, answer questions about assignments, and check in on one another throughout the semester. Having someone to be accountable to is one of the easiest ways to ensure you stay on the right track.
Online classes can be a great way to get an education on your own terms whether it’s a nursing program or organizational development degree, however, you have to be motivated and organized if you want to pass the class. Don’t just assume that because the class is online, it’s automatically going to be a breeze or that you can wait until the last day of the semester to get everything done. Stay organized, stay on top of deadlines, and you’ll do just fine.
“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information on getting into an organizational development degree or another online education program contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”