Changing Lives, Transforming Communities
The tnAchieves Blog

How To Succeed In Online Classes

June 16, 2020

Hear from tnAchieves staff about how to succeed in online classes!

Chances are you will take at least one online class in college, particularly now with new social distancing measures and modified semesters. Online classes can be daunting and often confusing, but they can also be a great tool to leverage during your time in college. Although online classes are not as hands on as in-person classes, they can offer more flexibility and are equally as informative. Here are some tips for getting comfortable with online classes and setting yourself up to succeed!

Stay engaged - Treat online classes as you would in-person classes. Show up and pay attention! Make sure that you are staying engaged in your classes and taking notes. Students who struggle in online classes tend to not be taking it as seriously as they should be.

Eliminate distractions – Put your phone away when it’s time for class. Do not check social media or browse the internet while class is happening. Treat your professor with the same respect that you would if you were in the classroom.

Get help quick – If you are facing issues with the class, notify the professor ASAP and contact the help desk at your institution. Waiting to get help can result in you missing assignments and lectures, getting a lower grade or even being dropped from the class!

Plan ahead – Take the time to familiarize yourself with the online platforms that will be used during your class (i.e. Zoom, Google Classroom, Skype etc.). If you share your computer or device with someone else, be sure to create a schedule that you can both follow so that your class time is not interrupted. If you do not have a great Wi-Fi connection at home consider finding another place to take class.

Ask questions – Your professors are there to help you learn, not just to post a video online. They are available to answer questions in various ways so familiarize yourself with the ways that you can get in touch with your professor. Most professors have virtual office hours, email addresses and are available via chat during lectures. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Questions are a crucial part of the learning process.

Create a study group - Form or join a study group to discuss your online class material. Studying with other students in your class can be a great tool to further understand the course material and to meet other students. Don’t be afraid to be the first person to reach out to your peers and see if anyone is interested in a study group! Some great tools for study groups include GroupMe, Google Docs, Zoom and group messages.

Set goals and expectations – Setting goals to work towards can be a great way to stay on track with the course syllabus as well as staying motivated. You can reward yourself for finishing assignments, getting good grades, asking questions, etc. Setting realistic expectations allows you to have a clear idea of how to succeed in your online class. If you face technical issues or are having trouble be sure to reach out to your professors. They will not be able to see your progress the same way that they would if your class was in person. You have to take the initiative to get the help you need to succeed!