5 tips for succeeding in online classes

With the right strategies, anyone can be successful learning in an online class. Use these five tips to put you at the front of your online classroom.

1. Perform a systems-check

To avoid problems before they begin, make sure your computer, internet access and software is at prime operating performance. A few things that should be on your checklist:

  • Can my computer access the software I need to take my class? If not, you may just need to download the correct software. Otherwise, check your campus to see if you can access a computer on-site.
  • Do I have a strong internet connection? Is it fast enough? There are several companies offering low-cost or free WiFi and internet services. Find a list here.
  • Do I have the right software to manage my assignments? Are you going to be required to write, create spreadsheets or develop presentations? Make sure you understand your needs for each course and determine if you have what’s needed to complete the work. If you don’t, check with your university or educator for resources that may be available to you.

2. Become a time-keeper

It may be tempting to kick your feet up and binge a show when you don’t have an in-seat class to keep you on track, but assignments have a way of piling up quickly if you don’t plan to complete them accordingly. That’s why it’s important to map out your course work and review assignments early. Then, put them on a calendar and make sure to set up reminders to keep you on track.

3. Establish a routine

You should also pick a regular time each day that you want to log into your school’s online learning management system. For Davenport students, that means logging into Blackboard each day.

It’s widely known that not everyone functions best at the same time of day. So, whether you’re a 3am or 3pm person, establish a time when you can eliminate all distractions and login to check in on your classes, do homework and participate in group discussions. It might take a few weeks to establish your best routine but, once you have a routine, you will quickly find that it helps you stay on track in multiple aspects of your life – not just school.

4. Participate in discussions

Many professors make use of a discussion board that is meant to emulate a real, in-person discussion. Your regular participation is vital as this is your time express your opinions and bring any prior knowledge and experience to the table. You’ll also benefit from actively listening to other students’ questions and insights. Actively participating in discussions is a great way to navigate a tough topic and stay engaged in your work.

5. Speak up

The only way to avoid falling behind is to ask questions up front and often – don’t wait until it’s too late to ask for clarification or help. Review your assignments early and make sure you know how you can request help from your professor or university. The easiest place to start? Just ask! Send an email to your professor or a fellow student, or pose a question on the class discussion board or chat room.

The best way to be successful in your online courses is to stay engaged. By ensuring you understand the class expectations, assignments and communication guidelines, you’ll also ensure you have a better overall experience online.

Find more information

If you’re still concerned about your ability to succeed in an online setting, have an honest conversation with your professors and ask for tips on succeeding in their course. If you’re a Davenport University student, you can also take advantage of our online tutoring services.

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