In a busy world, online classes are a great alternative to traditional classroom learning. They allow you to balance your goals for continuing your education and the pursuit of a degree with the rest of your life.
Online classes offer flexibility and independence for students with a full schedule. But if you’re not familiar with the format, you may be worried about what it takes to be successful in an online learning setting. We’ve got four great tips to help you make the most of your experience.
Knowing what to expect and what will be covered during the course can help you feel less anxious. Here are a few things you can do to begin forming your roadmap to success in an online learning setting:
- Thoroughly read the syllabus beforehand to get a grasp on the topics and pacing for the class
- Use a calendar or mobile app to track major assignments, projects, reviews, and exam dates
- Formulate a long-term plan for completing important course goals
- Make note of and obtain any supplies or study materials you’ll need for the term
Make Time to Study
Online learning puts you in charge of your own schedule. To help you stay on track, create an effective, easy-to-follow structure for studying by planning daily or weekly sessions – whichever works best for your needs – and designating a block of time for research and finishing assignments.
Once you set up a manageable study schedule that works for you, stick to it as best you can. Responsible time management is crucial in an online learning setting, but it doesn’t just happen; it’s a skill that must be cultivated and reinforced through your own habits.
Don’t Hesitate to Speak Up
When you take online courses, it may feel a little harder to participate and feel as involved as you would in a traditional setting. But don’t be afraid to ask the instructor questions, during or after class. Communicate often and connect early, and you’ll get more from your experience.
Creating a successful medium of communication will not only benefit you while earning your certificate or degree, but in the career you hope to pursue afterward. When you run into a challenge, let your instructor or study partners know, so that you can get the answers you need.
The independence offered by an online learning setting are beneficial to students who lead full work and family lives, but still want to pursue a certificate or degree in the spare time they do have. It’s important, however, to stay focused on your goals and building the skills you’ll need for a successful career in the workforce. What you’ll learn in your online program is a step on the path toward the future you want, so make sure to take advantage of on-site job experience, internships, and special events or industry talks when available.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published on March 7, 2017 and has been updated based on new information.