Tips, tricks to succeed in online classes

With the recent shift to online classes instead of face to face instruction comes a learning curve for students and professors. 


On Twitter, I have seen a number of posts along the lines of “extended spring break.”  While there are those who choose to stay home instead of heading back to campus, they still have class responsibilities. 


For some students, this might be the first time that they have been required to take an online class, while others might have done this before. 


Here are some tips to help you succeed in your online courses. 


1- Some professors are opting for Google Hangout/Meet in lieu of face-to-face class meetings. These apps allow people to join via an app, or by dialing a number. One thing to know is that you can mute yourself, that way no one hears a cough, or any background noise in your room. Another tip for Google hangouts is use headphones. Using headphones limits the amount of feedback/noise if you are not not on mute. 


2- Keep yourself accountable. While online classes can be good for students who need more time to work on things, or want to move through a lecture at their own pace, it can also be a bad thing if you don’t keep yourself accountable. One way to make sure you stay on top of things is to set aside time during the day to look on Blackboard and look at everything you need to do. You already had this time during the day blocked off for class, so you might as well use it to complete some work. Another way to do this is by creating a todo list for the day. If you have a few tasks to do each day for classes, it alleviates procrastination. 


3- Reach out. If you have questions about assignments or what is expected of you during this time, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors. They are still getting paid to do this, so they will take the time to respond. Granted, it might take a little bit longer because all other 29 students might be reaching out, but they will make time for you as usual. You can also reach out to students in your class and ask them questions. If you don’t know, they might be able to help you out. 


4- No distractions. Another tip is to leave distractions in another room. Speaking from experience, it is so easy to stop what I am doing because I got an Instagram notification. If you leave your phone, or anything equally distractioning, in another room. 


5- Take a break. Lets face it, even when we are doing face-to-face classes, most students don’t just sit in the same spot for five hours straight doing schoolwork. Every hour or so, take a small ten minute break (just like passing times at Valpo). You can get up and do a small workout, check social media or eat a snack. Taking a break will give your brain a break from staring at a screen. 


Overall, this is a learning curve for everyone involved. If you keep yourself accountable and don’t get off track, you will be on the right track. 


The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily of The Torch.  


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