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How to Get the Most Out of Online Classes

Posted by Jessica Stensrud Monday, Jun. 29, 2020

dreamstime_xxl_183953829Gone are the days where all college classes are in-person, in a classroom. Today, especially with the coronavirus pandemic, many classes are available to students online. The online education option is especially helpful to busy students who are juggling work, children and school and have a packed schedule. Remote learning is flexible, however, it can present challenges for a student who's more accustomed to a traditional classroom experience. 

The obvious benefits to online learning are the options to learn and study any place, any time while balancing home, family and work commitments. When you're prone to distractions, taking classes online can be difficult, but if you develop these crucial skills to learning online, you can make your academic life easier than ever, be the best online student and get the most out of your online course.

 

Set a designated study space.

Decide where you work best. Maybe you have a home office, a spacious kitchen table or you have a favorite, comfy chair in the living room. Make that your place where you know you can focus. If your study space isn't at home, that's ok too! Just be sure to choose a spot that's conducive to studying and learning.

 

But don't be afraid to vary it up!

It's great (and important) to have a favorite place to go for studying, but variety is also good for your brain. Consider a library, spot on campus or a beloved coffee shop for a change of scenery. This will get your creative juices flowing and get you in the mood for learning.

 

Remove all distractions.

If you have a pet or a roommate who you know will break your concentration, go to a quiet room and shut the door (or go to the library, a coffee shop, or a common area). It's so easy to be distracted by music, TV, chores that need to be done at home, and social media while attending classes online. Remove apps from your computer that you know will divert your attention. 

 

Hold yourself accountable.

You wouldn't skip an in-person class or walk in late. Treat your online class the same as a "real class." Log in to your online course at the time you're supposed to and pay attention to the course material and instructor as you would in a classroom. The beauty of online classes is the flexibility and freedom to go at your own pace but that can also be the downfall, depending on your learning style and motivation. Create goals every week and set reminders for assignments and tests so you can stay on task.

 

Participate and engage in the online classroom.

Be an active learner! The best way to see if you're following along and you understand the course materials is to participate in the discussion board and talk to your fellow students. Check in often and read what classmates are saying to gain a new perspective. Don't be afraid to reach out to your instructor if you feel lost or you don't understand the course content, online lecture or an assignment.

 

Time management is your friend.

Most students today are working while they are full-time students. Some students are parents or have other dependents and personal commitments. Time is valuable, so setting aside time to study is crucial for student success. Carve out study time each day by using a planner or calendar. Keeping the same time every day isn't always realistic, so be sure to keep a schedule that works for you.

 

If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, check out Nebraska Methodist College to further your education and start a life-changing career.

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Topics: wellness, covid-19, resilience

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