How to study for Online classes: When you study for online courses it’s a little different than studying for on-campus courses. The basics are the same, but having a game plan before you go into a class is always a good idea. If you’ve never taken online classes before, or are struggling with your current workload, use these 6 tips to get on the right track.
How to Study for Online courses and Classes Step by Step Tips:
Develop a Schedule
The biggest problem most online students face is that they there isn’t any pre-established structure to the day. The freedom of being able to set your own study and class times is the biggest draw to virtual classrooms. However, this can work against you if you don’t take the initiative of making your own study program and sticking to it.
Become a Time Management Guru
If you’re taking online classes because your schedule is hectic and you just don’t have the time, this can be the hardest step. Each individual class will dictate how much time must be devoted to it. Some may require just 30 minutes a day that you can squeeze in here and there. Others will require that you devote large blocks of time to absorb amount of information coming in. It will be up to you to determine which classes take up how much time.
Online Courses: Consume the Material
When you learn on campus you can often get by without reading the course material, as long as you study the parts that are going to be on the test. When it comes to online learning you need to be conversant on the assigned materials. This could be in the form of lectures, books, online activities, quizzes, or group work. No matter how it comes to you, make sure you block out the distractions around you and really learn. Online classes are not cheap, so be sure to get your money’s worth.
Be Prepared to Discuss What You’ve Read
When you take courses on campus you can usually get through the lectures by sitting in the crowd and not raising your hand. This won’t fly in an online course, as instructors will want you to show that you’re keeping up with the lessons. They’ll ask questions and start debates so that they can take the pulse of the class and determine who’s lagging behind.
Take it Seriously
Another trap that online learners fall into is thinking that e-learning is going to be easier than being on campus. In many instances the courses you take online will cover more ground, and leave more of the learning up to you, making it harder than being in a real classroom.
Make Use of Office Hours
Many students both online and off don’t use a professor’s office hours. This is a valuable resource and can great help you make a success out of a class that is giving you trouble. Online instructor’s will usually keep regular office hours and are sometimes even available by phone. Take advantage of this opportunity to pick their brain, and if they have a phone number, give them a call. Taking online courses doesn’t mean that robots are conducting the class, put a human feel to your teacher by calling them with a simple question, or just to introduce yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do they handle group work with online courses?
Many professors in colleges and universities today are big on group work. It’s found its way to online classrooms as well, with many courses requiring group work to be completed in order to gain credit. Unlike a ground-based class you won’t have to physically meet anyone in person to complete the assignments. In most instances you’ll just send emails between each other, or use a group chat , or group workplace function of the software being used. Each group member will be expected to contribute, and since it’s online there is transparency, and the instructor will know if someone is not pulling their own weight.
What if your instructor has a style you don’t connect with?
Many times an instructor may know their subject matter very well, and could even be a great lecturer in person, but they just don’t have a knack for conveying that material online. Some schools will train their teachers in the basics of utilizing all of the different forms of multimedia that can be delivered through the Internet. Others will not, and leave their instructors to teach themselves how to do everything from record a lecture to uploading files. If you find that your instructor is lagging in a few areas, suggest ways that they could improve their lessons. It could be that they just aren’t aware of certain technologies or capabilities.
What if the course material is boring?
It’s bound to happen from time to time that the material you study for online courses will get dry. Perhaps it’s the topic of the course, or just the workload that will take the interesting out of it, but you have to find a way to keep it fresh. If you’re taking courses from a community college it’s possible that you might be able to find a study buddy or even a group of people nearby that you could meet up with. Taking online classes doesn’t mean you’re confined to a computer at all times. Branch out and get to meet some of your virtual classmates.