One of the trickiest things about college is trying to schedule your classes. Sometimes there will be overlapping or you can’t get across campus in 5 minutes before the next one starts. That is where online classes can be an absolute blessing. I love being able to add in an extra class here or there that fits perfectly with my schedule.
Even though we are a bit into the semester, it’s never too late to start utilizing these tips to ace your online classes!
Living in Maine has made me appreciate online classes to a whole new level. This semester I decided to take as many online ones as I could because its SNOW season here! I live a bit off campus and terrified to drive in the snow, which is why online classes make perfect sense.
Currently I’m taking 4 classes online and one in person. It can be a bit difficult to try and juggle four online classes which is why I’m sharing all my tips and tricks for you guys!
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Write Down EVERYTHING in the Syllabus
Once you get the syllabus, write everything that’s due and what’s on the agenda for the week down. For example, I’ll write down all the discussion post dates for that class in my planner. I’ll include any exam dates, assignment due dates, etc. I also recommend this for any type of class you are taking.
It’s hard to juggle a lot of classes, so writing everything down helps a ton. Don’t forget to also cross things off as you do them so you can have a better idea of what you need to work on and when. I love using the Happy Planner or a Bullet Journal to keep track of everything. You can also check out this blog post for more organizational tips!
Email or See the Professor with Questions
Just because you aren’t actually seeing the professor doesn’t mean you can’t meet with them! In some cases, I’ve had professors living in other states, but I’m able to email them with any questions I have about the class. In most cases, professors will still have office hours where you can show up with questions or concerns about the class.
Learn How to Use the Online System
I have made so many mistakes with not completely learning how the online systems work. For a lot of colleges, they will use Blackboard to post grades, use it for discussion posts, etc. Take some time to learn all about it so you aren’t missing an assignment. Trust me-I have been there before and it’s not fun. Because you do have more time than your typical in-person class, professors aren’t as lenient with late work in my experience.
Some Online Classes are More Expensive
You would think that not actually having to show up to class would help you save a few bucks, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. A lot of times, professors will use online programs to guide the course that require access codes to join. This means you can’t rent or buy a used book to gain access. Typically for these kinds of classes, it can cost you around $70-$120 (in my experience). So don’t forget to keep this in mind if you are trying to save money!
You may also be able to find out from other classmates or friends if the class does require access codes. I’ve had some classes where the professor provides all the reading material so I didn’t need to spend any textbook money!
Create a Schedule for Yourself
Because you are on your own for when you work on assignments, it can be very easy to put it off until the last minute. With online classes, a lot of the time it’ll be due at midnight and I’m sure we have all done the whole “turned in at 11:58” scenario. It’s stressful to wait until the last minute and that can lead to turning in not our best work.
I found a system that works for me with my schedule. Everything for my classes are due on Sunday but I try to have it done by Friday in case it takes longer than I think. I work on 2 classes on Tuesday and the other two on Thursday. On Friday, I’ll spend time studying or working on things for the next week.
Whatever system works for you, find one and stick to it. I would recommend finding one that allows you to complete the assignments a day or two early in case it takes longer.
Stay Up To Date with Announcements + Emails
Because it’s an online class, there will oftentimes be announcements that are posted about due date changes or emails about what the professor is expecting in an assignment. Make sure you are staying up to date with these. There is nothing worse than working late on a project only to find out the due date was pushed forward (or back!).
This one is obvious for any time of work you may do at home. But I’m not just talking about your phone or Instagram, I also mean completing any other tasks you may have to do. I have a hard time focusing on schoolwork if I know that my apartment needs to be cleaned. So, I’ll typically spend an hour cleaning up before I spend the day on schoolwork. If you know you need to do something that will distract you, such as checking emails or walking your dog, go ahead and do it before you start study mode!