5 Tips for Succeeding in Online Classes

Aug 20, 2019 by

Some people just can’t break from tradition. For them, learning means sitting in a classroom with four walls, a chalkboard, and a teacher at the helm. Desks lined up perfectly one behind the other. Children are seen, not heard. While this may sound appealing to some, to others it’s a prime example of being stuck in the past. The field of education has advanced, changed, and grown exponentially in the last few decades. There’s no such thing as a “traditional classroom” setting anymore. And perhaps at the forefront of change was the introduction of online classes. 

While this notion first started with a few random college courses sprinkled among in-class instruction, more and more people are obtaining their entire education online. From undergraduate to graduate degrees to certifications and everything in between! 

Does the thought of furthering your education from the comfort of your home (or local library or coffee shop) appeal to you? Are you unsure of how it all works and whether or not you’ll succeed? Keep reading for all your questions answered!

Choose Courses You Enjoy

While this isn’t always possible, the old adage goes, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” The same goes for your course load. Whenever possible, choose classes that interest you. Most students are all too familiar with the need to take general education credits ranging from English composition to American history. While some people might love these subjects, others will find themselves dozing on their keyboards. Try to mix things up and take a European history course instead, or poetry. Whenever possible, find online classes that peek (and will keep) your interest. It will make completing them that much easier! The best part is, class registration software makes it simple to find and register for the classes of your choosing.

Set Attainable Goals

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And you’re not going to obtain your bachelor’s (or even associate’s) degree overnight. If you have your eye’s set on a career in the medical field, know that hands-on clinicals and time spent in the hospital or examination room are a must. Not all careers can be achieved by taking online courses. First, decide what you want to do. Then, research what online establishments and universities offer classes and credentials you need. It’s also important not to bite off more than you can chew. Countless people who enroll in online classes are also working full-time or juggling other obligations. Stick to taking only a few classes at a time. This makes your workload much more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Take it (and yourself) Seriously

One of the biggest problems with enrolling in online classes is the inability to commit. Procrastination is an issue among many students, regardless of their age. While you may not need to report to the classroom each day, you do need to set aside time for your school work. Whether you choose to work at the same time everyday or devote an entire day to completing your assignments, you need to do it. Don’t make the mistake of leaving everything until the last minute or thinking a missed assignment online isn’t as serious as it would be if you were physically in class. A zero is still a zero. Also, remember to take yourself seriously. You obviously signed up for online classes for a reason. Whether it’s a personal or professional accomplishment you want to achieve, you’re worth the time and commitment. 

Find Your Happy Place

If you’re not visiting a campus or classroom during your school time, you need to find a comparable space. The good news is, online courses allow you the flexibility to choose the type of workspace most conducive to your learning process. That might be a quiet library or home office, or it may be the local coffee shop. Know yourself and your work ethic. Where do you work best? This should be the place you visit when it comes time to participate online in course discussions, post on the class community board, complete a quiz, or taking a test. Bring headphones along if music helps you focus or block out other distractions. 

Close Other Tabs

Let’s face it. Social media is addicting. It consumes hours of our life and even more brain cells. If you’re one of those people who simply can’t help but scroll your Facebook feed, update your status, or post that funny meme, you need to switch it off during school work and study hours. This might mean limiting yourself to only opening school-related tabs on your computer, turning off notifications, or eliciting the help of countless online tools. Apps like SelfControl, Offtime, and Moment can all help you focus by limiting your access to other apps and websites. If you lack self-control (pun intended), these tools are the perfect way to eliminate those outside distractions and help you take advantage of your time. If it helps, use your desire for social media as a reward. Once you’re done with your work, you can scroll, share, and like till your heart’s content! 

Don’t let the thought of online classes scare you. While some older adults have convinced themselves that enrolling in online coursework is only for the millennial generation, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, a large majority of online students are grown adults. Whether you’re looking to advance your career, follow a lifelong dream, or reach a personal goal, online coursework makes it possible. Now the biggest question is deciding which certification to go after first! 

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