Five Tips to Succeed in an Online Course


For some, the idea of transitioning to an online class may be daunting. Maybe you’ve never tried remote learning or worry that you’ll miss out on the camaraderie you have with your professors and classmates. Anxiety surrounding such a quick transition is understandable, so we’ve compiled five tips to help you succeed during this time.

1. Read everything twice.

When it comes to assignments and projects, the best tactic is to read the syllabus and all instructions twice. By rereading the information your professor has provided, you can cut down the number of emails that need to be sent for further clarification. Of course, if you read through the material a few times and still have a question, know that your professors want to help you succeed. If you still have questions after you’ve taken the time to really read the instructions and consult the syllabus, don’t worry about sending a few detailed questions your professor’s way. They’ll appreciate that you’ve taken so much effort!

2. Be proactive.

Yes, remote learning is different from traditional, face-to-face classroom settings. You will have to take responsibility for engaging with the content your professor provides on a consistent basis. Like any class, it’s hard to catch up once you have fallen behind. Make sure you are creating a weekly schedule of all of the items that need to be completed. Let those due dates shape how you plan your days and the coursework you’ll complete.

3. Organize your virtual class and daily schedule.

Organization is key to succeeding in online classes. Consider saving your files on Google Drive or OneDrive. Create a file for each of your classes and organize subfolders within each class file that cover assignments, syllabus and instructions, discussion boards, and assigned readings. You can even download your class contents and drop them into the files for easy access. It can be challenging to get motivated to work online if you are still in your pajamas, so hop out of your bed and get dressed every day! And, yes, if it helps you focus, you may even need to leave your phone in another room.

4. Check your assignment once more before submitting it!

Be sure to check your assignment instructions one more time before turning it in. You may have glanced over some specifics on page length or the number of sources needed. It never hurts to give your assignment just one more glance before you hit submit.

5. Take notes while watching any lectures or reading the content material.

Just as in a traditional face-to-face course, you benefit by writing (or typing) notes as your professor gives a digital lecture. These lectures may be in the form of an audio file or video, but now you have the opportunity to hit the pause button! Take the time to write down any complex theories you may need to revisit.

All of these tips will help you succeed and finish this semester strong. You may feel a little overwhelmed right now, but we know you can do this. Together, we’ll make this the best semester yet!