Online college classes can either be the easiest and most convenient thing you’ve ever done, or be a major pain in the you-know-what. When you are taking more than 1 or 2 online classes, or when you have a full-time schedule entirely online, it can be difficult to remember what you’ve done, what’s due (and which class), and which tests you have to take by what time. Here are some tips to stay on top of your online class schedule for your college classes, and you’ll see that taking online classes are both easier and a bit tougher to take than you would have imagined.
First of all, print your syllabus for each and every class so you have a schedule that you can reach out and read any time you want to. I paper clip my syllabus for each online class inside a folder assigned to the class, and as I complete assignments, I highlight them so I am aware that they are done. Each class has a different highlighter color so I don’t mix my Legal Environment assignments with my Macroeconomics ones.
Take your classes in alternating days, preferably in conjunction with the days the classes are taught on campus. 2 of my classes are the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday kind, whereas the other 2 are Tuesday and Thursday classes on campus. This tells me that the ones on 3 days a week are likely a bit more hands-on and require more study and focus, whereas the ones 2 days a week don’t take up as much time. Allow the same amount of time the class would take as well if you were in a ‘live’ class. Allow an extra hour per class per class day for study and reflection.
If it works better for you to study each day on all of your classes, then that’s fine too. Just make sure that you pace yourself accordingly and don’t rush everything. My biggest fault is that I get too far ahead in one class while I lag in another. Pace yourself according to the syllabus you have handy, and only jump ahead if you are current in all your classes online. Some professors won’t even allow you to jump ahead in classes unless you are maintaining a certain grade anyhow.
Most online classes will require you to have to take your tests at the college or approved testing center nearby. Make sure you have the dates available for testing and that you have let your professor know where you plan on taking your tests, because if you live in an outreach area, the outreach center may not have the tests you need to take because your professor didn’t know you needed them sent to you there. Simply email your professor as soon as possible prior to your first test and let them know where you live and make sure you can take your tests nearby (this is what I do as the college is an hour away from where I live). Otherwise, you may be traveling a lot for taking tests.
Many online classes still require class discussion and participation. Remember that you have to be as courteous to other students in your words and opinions online via the discussion board as you would in person for class. So, if you wouldn’t say it to the other student’s face, don’t type it out. I got dinged a bit last semester for lacking an ‘academic tone’. It doesn’t take much to have an instructor come after you.
experience with online college classes