How to Ace An Online Class in 2020

Chances are you’re probably taking at least one online class this year, if not working towards your degree completely online. If you’ve never taken an online class before, this could be a daunting and nerve-racking situation. Rest assured, I’ve got you covered. I’ve taken and aced online classes before and have all the tips so you can too!

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College girl sitting on bed taking an online class

I first want you to take a moment to remember why you’re taking this class in the first place. Is it a fun elective, a core class, or something else required for you to graduate? More importantly, why do you want to graduate with the specific degree you’re working towards? Your ‘why’ should always be in the back of your mind, helping to propel you forward when your classes get tough. Amongst other things, is the foundation for doing well in an online class.

Work Ahead When You Can

For an online class, you’re either going to be 100% self-paced or your instructor will release lectures and coursework on a specific cadence. My top suggestion for you would be to start working on the material as soon as it’s available. And if you have the opportunity, work ahead of schedule. Getting ahead in the class will give you some leeway if one of your other classes is more difficult/time-consuming.

Pretend Your Online Class Is A Normal Lecture

No matter if you’re chilling on the couch, relaxed in bed, or sitting at a desk treat your lectures like actual lectures. Give them your undivided attention and take notes just like you would in a normal class. If you’re sitting down to watch a lecture, watch the whole thing through before you get up to do anything – the key here is to limit distractions. One benefit you might have if the lecture is pre-recorded is having the ability to pause the lecture and rewind a bit if you’ve missed something!

student taking an online class at home

Setup a Dedicated Work Area

Having a dedicated study space can really help you to minimize distractions. It helps your body and mind to subconsciously recognize that it’s time to study when you sit down at your dedicated space. If you’re going to be taking the majority of your classes online I highly recommend having a dedicated desk to do your work at.

Online Class Essentials

Form A Study Group

If you know that the class is going to be a difficult one, consider forming a study group with a few other classmates. Set a weekly schedule for you all to hop on a Zoom call and study together. Bouncing ideas and thought processes off others will be super helpful if you’re missing out on the in-class environment. Keep in mind that you also have Teaching Assistants and Professors to help you as well!

Set A Schedule For Yourself

Just like you would attend a normal lecture Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10-11 am, Schedule a time to take your online classes. Even more important, if you’re not using a planner consider getting one to keep track of your schedule, assignments, quizzes, etc.

Overall, the best advice I can give is to try to treat online classes just as you would regular classes. The goal of every single class you take is to learn a specific skill or factual knowledge.

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