Tips and tricks for succeeding in online classes

Student taking online classes

Are you ready to take college classes but don’t have the time in your busy schedule to sit in a classroom? Are you anxious about sitting in a classroom filled with traditional age college students? Taking online classes is a great choice for you! You can have the flexibility and comfort of learning on your own computer at home.

Here are seven tips to help you succeed in your online classes.

1. Create your ideal learning environment

Even though you are taking classes at home create your own “classroom.” Make an area in your home or dorm room into your workspace. This could be a spare room or even just a corner of your home. Designate this space for when you are working on your class and know that when you are in that area that is what your focus should be on.

2. Eliminate distractions

Turn off the TV, phone and other electronic outside distractions. The focus will help you achieve more. If you have a family, try and find a time that the kids are working on their own homework, or someone is around to watch over them while you are “in class.”

3. Mange your time

Designate a specific time of day every day to work on your online assignments. This will allow you that flexibility but also give you structure. Also take this designated time to look back over the work you are getting ready to submit and reflect on what you have learned. This will eliminate mistakes in your work as well as staying on track.

4. Your learning strategy

Figure out how you are most successful in learning the material. Are you a morning person? Are you more of a night owl? Figure out the time that you are most focused on your class. That is one of the great advantages of online classes. The time you are completing your work doesn’t matter as long as you are meeting your deadlines. Find what works for you.

Not everyone learns the same way. If you’re a visual learner, consider printing out the material. Learn best by listening? Make sure to build time into your schedule to play and replay all audio- and video-based course content.

5. Hold yourself accountable

Set goals at the beginning of the class for yourself. Check in on these goals throughout the course and make sure you are meeting them. If you aren’t doing very well on this concept alone, consider talking with a fellow student and keep each other accountable. You can also ask for the support of your spouse, other family members or someone else you know.

6. Form a study group

Just because you are not in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t pool together your classmates and work together to succeed. If your class has online forums or discussion groups, consider asking questions or creating discussions about your assignments. Introduce yourself and see if others are interested in working through class together. This is also a great place to find that person to help you stay accountable.

7. Beware of sneaky deadlines

In an in-person class, the instructor will usually remind you of upcoming deadlines. But with online classes, you may not get these reminders. At the start of the class, read through the syllabus and find all deadlines for assignments. Put this information on your calendar and make a point to look at it regularly. Even though you have the syllabus to guide you, also make sure that deadlines don’t change or adjust so you miss assignments.

Taking online courses is a great way to earn your education with the flexibility that you need. Take these tips to help you succeed and check out all the great online classes at Ellsworth Community College and Marshalltown Community College. You can even earn your AA completely online!