Tips For Taking Online Classes

While online classes have been available since before COVID-19, classes at schools in many, many cities have been moved online to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. Taking a class online can be an adjustment if you’re used to taking them in a classroom and in person, but they are just as rewarding.

Personally, I started taking online classes at a community college two years ago to obtain a certificate in business. I wound up liking it so much that now I’m working toward another certificate.

Here are my tips on how to successful navigate an online class:

  • With most online classes, you don’t have to report to class at a certain time—you sign on and take your lessons when you can. This means you need have have good time management in order to make sure you have enough time to get your work done before the deadlines.
  • Lessons will always take a little bit longer than you think they will. Make sure you allocate that in your scheduling and be patient with yourself.
  • Since online class grades are mostly from (usually) open book quizzes and exams, it’s a good idea to actually do the readings. You shouldn’t be doing all the learning during the test!
  • Sign onto the portal before class begins and take any tutorials that exist. This way you’re not frustrated with the platform when you’re facing down a deadline.
  • If your classes use an interactive textbook (especially through McGraw-Hill Connect), realize that the exercises won’t always be the same. Every teacher designs their classes differently. Recently, I had a professor who decided he wanted us to buy hardcover textbooks in the year 2020!
  • Online classes frequently require you do submit response papers and discussions. Read the rubrics and instructions carefully—you could lose out on crucial points if you don’t! At least it was way more affordable.
  • In your required discussions, be cordial and make sure you add solid points. Also, make sure to check if your professor responds! It’s a nice way to interact with them.
  • Read the syllabus, because sometimes due dates are different than on the class online platform.
  • Take it seriously! Just because the class is online doesn’t mean it’s not a real class. The information you’re learning is just as valuable as if you learned it while sitting in a desk and chair in a classroom.