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7 Tips to Help You Ace Your Online Class
To excel in online courses, one needs certain attributes and skills. Among them are self-motivation, insightful planning, and time management. Also vital is a setting that lets you focus without distractions.
Still, don’t feel deflated if these requirements seem like a tall order. By following the steps outlined below, you can pave the way to a great semester.
Moreover, studying and learning will be fun, especially if you bond with some classmates. Here’s how to earn grades that will have you grinning from ear-to-ear!
1. Connect with your professor.
Do this when your course begins. Part of your academic standing hinges on making a good impression with your teacher. Even if your test grades aren’t tops, you can amass points for diligence, creativity, and zeal!
So, craft an email, introducing yourself and stating why you’re grateful to be taking the class. For example, the course will impart skills essential for your chosen career. Also, if you have questions about the course syllabus or requirements, present them in your message.
Be sure to proofread this and all future correspondence, using corrective software such as Grammarly.
Your effort to introduce yourself shows initiative and ambition. Now you’re off to a good start!
2. Stick to a schedule.
Referring to your course syllabus, jot down all the assignment deadlines in a pocket planner. Then, on Sundays, allocate time for the upcoming week to attend class, study, and complete coursework. Meanwhile, note other commitments on your planner as they arise.
Staying on track with a weekly plan will help you avoid cramming for tests and scrambling to finish projects.
Each day, log into your course. This way, you’ll keep up with announcements and new developments. In particular, visit your class discussion board, by which your teacher will likely post assignments.
Make sure your daily schedule includes tending to your health. As you know, when you don’t feel well, it’s hard to be productive.
So, do your best to eat nutritious foods, exercise a bit, and get adequate shuteye. Also, take time daily for a fun activity and connecting with those you love. By balancing your studies and personal life, you’ll feel more relaxed, making learning easier.
3. Secure a tranquil study space.
Claim a nook in your home where you can work in peace. While studying, eliminate distracting sounds, such as those from the TV. Also, consider silencing your smartphone. You’ll avoid the disruptive pull of every incoming call, text, and notification.
Is it tough to resist the lure of checking emails, Web surfing, and posting on social media? If so, experiment with using a website blocker app.
With this type of software, you can list the sites and apps whose notifications you want to dodge. Some apps, such as the Website Blocker for Chrome, let you specify the times to ban access. Other popular website blockers are FocusMe, Cold Turkey, Rescue Time, and Freedom.
4. Gauge your best study times.
Determine the optimal times of day for doing coursework, in sync with your lifestyle. First, reflect on when your mind is sharpest, such as after breakfast. Then, if you have young kids, consider when they won’t need your help or loving care. If you have roommates, see if you can work around their presence.
Next, ask your family or housemates to respect your study time and workspace. If you have school-age children, perhaps you can all do your homework simultaneously!
5. Hone your note-taking.
Whenever you listen to lectures and study, jot down what strikes you as most relevant. There are several effective ways to take notes. Are you fluent in texting abbreviations? If so, use them to pen your notes. If you’re a typing whiz, use a computer or laptop.
One cool way to do this is by making online flashcards. Many websites, such as Quizlet, offer free accounts. While reading online, when you want to record a key point, copy the text to a flashcard. Also, link the information to its source. Now you can access the flashcards from your computer and smartphone!
You can also download flashcards and print them. Quizlet gives you three more options. You can flip through your deck, use the cards to take quizzes, or play games with them.
6. When studying, pace yourself.
For every study period, set a realistic goal and a time frame to meet it. Then, take a breather. If you divide each assignment into small steps, you can make steady progress. Plus, with each project completed, you’ll gain momentum, keeping your motivation strong.
If other “To-Do” thoughts grab your attention, write them down to address later. Then, refocus on the task before you.
Time-blocking is studying for a preset time, ending with a break, and then resuming your coursework.
For instance, let’s say you have a research paper due in three weeks. Your first goal could be drafting an outline and introduction. Pursue this for an hour, followed by a 10-minute break, announced by a timer. Then, create a goal for another hour of work, such as writing the first segment of your paper. Again, pause for 10 minutes.
You’ll retain information better if you study in stints versus holding a marathon. If your mind is constantly wandering, take a break or quit for the day.
7. Participate fully.
Stay active on discussion boards.
Instructors often use them to post graded assignments. At the very least, your teacher will be checking the forums, monitoring class activity.
Use this format to pose questions. Your classmates will supply answers and ideas, aiding your research and streamlining homework. Plus, by interacting with your peers, you’ll feel supported.
Usually, a course syllabus includes posting guidelines and rules. To score well, follow your teacher’s instructions to the letter.
With all your online communications, remember to be courteous, as you would in-person. You’ll build rapport with friendly greetings and thanking those who help you. The resultant sense of community will boost your confidence.
Hook up with a study group.
You’ll find being with your peers invigorating! Compared to a forum, you have more leeway to explore topics. Plus, since meetings are informal, you can speak with greater freedom.
If there are no classmates nearby, join an online study group. If you can’t find any for your course, consider organizing one. Many platforms exist.
For instance, the Think Binder app lets you converse through texting and video chat. Use the virtual whiteboard to pitch ideas and develop them with your classmates.
With Google-based tools, you can stream sessions on YouTube, do video conferencing, and record your meetings. Plus, you can share screens, import Google docs, and brainstorm with the whiteboard.
By taking the above approach to your online course, you can set the stage for fabulous grades. Here’s a summary of how to proceed.
- At the start of your semester, email your professor, introducing yourself and conveying your gratitude for their course.
- Reserve a study space in your home and curb distractions.
- Take advantage of ideal study times, according to your lifestyle and home environment.
- Maintain a daily routine for doing coursework, eating well, exercising, and getting ample sleep.
- During lectures and reading assignments, jot down key points, using a note-taking format you enjoy.
- Rather than cramming for hours on end, practice time-blocking.
- Post often on discussion boards, and consider joining a study group.
For every project you complete, reward yourself. By semester’s end, you’ll be amazed by what you achieved!
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