If you’re used to the typical schedule of waking up, going to class, physically turning in assignments, and being reminded of deadlines every class period, then the idea of taking an online class may be terrifying for you. Trust me when I say that online classes really aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be, so long as you go in with a plan and motivation. They definitely require a lot more responsibility than the traditional college class, but I truly think taking one or two is completely worth it.
With that said, with the good comes the bad, so you need to make sure that you keep a few things in mind when you’re considering taking an online class. Really weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision and think about your learning style.
- Class in my pajamas.
- No walking through the cold to get to a boring lecture.
- I like the freedom they offer.
- You essentially are the teacher.
- They aren’t as bad as everyone says, at all.
- They are a huge adjustment.
- You don’t have anyone reminding you of deadlines.
- You aren’t meeting people and socializing during them.
- You essentially are the teacher.
- They require a ton of responsibility.
At the end of the day, being able to wake up, open my laptop, and instantly be in class while my peers are walking through the rain was enough to motivate me to sign up for a few online classes. I had two last semester, along with 4 regular classes, and I have the same arrangement this semester, too. Just because they work out fantastically for me, that doesn’t mean it will be the case for everyone.
Some qualities that you are probably going to need to succeed in online classes are:
- Self-motivation – this was the hardest for me to master. When you are taking an online class you have class whenever you want. With that arrangement it’s easy to let deadlines sneak up on you! Don’t do that, get things done ahead of time and enjoy not being stressed.
- Organized – this one is so important. Like I mentioned in the cons: you don’t have anyone reminding you of deadlines and you’re not making friends in that class so you are completely on your own. You need to fill out a planner or come up with some system so that you don’t forget any deadlines. The biggest downfall for students taking an online class is that they aren’t organized enough.
- Time – If you are super busy and struggling to cram everything in as it is, the freedom that online classes offer you can work for or against you. You need to make sure that you are prioritizing your free time to finish your assignments rather than doing something unproductive.
So you’ve taken the plunge and decided to go for it! Good for you! There are a few things you should keep in mind in order to be successful in your online class.
- You need to be incredibly proactive in order to keep on top of things. Write due dates in your planner, put alerts on your phone, and email your professor to clarify anything that you may not understand. You’re essentially on your own, so make sure you stay on top of things!
- “Bad Internet” is not going to be an acceptable excuse for you not turning in assignments. Work far enough ahead of time that the internet going out won’t be an issue. And if you have any time sensitive assignments or online lectures, make sure that you are somewhere with a reliable internet connection.
- Don’t rely on Google for your answers. When you have the internet at your fingertips, it’s easy to punch in the information you need, get your answer, and call it a day. By doing that you’re not going to be learning. Listen to online lectures, do your readings, and really try to absorb the information. It will serve you well during exams.
- Don’t get lazy. Online classes can be done from the cozy comforts of your bed, and that’s absolutely fantastic! But on the flipside without the formal setting of a classroom it is also easier to blow them off and that is not something that you want to do!
Have you taken any online classes during your college career? What did you think of them and did I miss any important tips?