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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
How to be Successful in an Online Class

8 Working Tips On How to Be Successful In An Online Class

Online classes have become increasingly popular in recent years. Thanks to advances in technology and internet speeds, it’s never been easier to study for the qualification you want from the comfort of your own home.

There are many advantages to studying online, however, there are also many pitfalls and problems that online students can fall into.

Many students underestimate how tough it can be to study online and the number of unique challenges that online learners face.

In this article, we will discuss eight tips about how to be successful in an online class. If you keep all of this information and advice in mind as you study, you will have a higher chance of online learning success.

1. Look at an Online Course the Same Way You’d Look at a Traditional Course

It’s easy to look at online courses as being ‘less’ than an in-person class or as something that you can coast through. This is not the case, however, and if you view your online course in this way you are bound to fail.

You need to be just as disciplined with online courses as you do with a traditional classroom setting.

Although you can be flexible and study whenever you want to when learning online, you do still need to put the hours in and cannot postpone and put off your study session indefinitely.

Whether it’s a classroom desk or a desk at home, you need to show up and put in the hours.

Remember that you’re paying for your online course and that the qualification you will get at the end is just as worthy as one earned in a traditional class. 

2. Keep Yourself Accountable

Succeeding in an online course hinges on your ability to remain motivated and stay on track.

You need to hold yourself accountable as unlike traditional classes, you don’t have an educator that is checking the register and ensuring that you’re in class and completing assignments.

Set yourself goals and make sure that you can complete assignments. These can be goals to study a number of hours per week or to have assignments done by a specific date, but you need to hold yourself to these goals.

You won’t get constant reminders about upcoming dates so you need to remind yourself.

You can try and share some of this accountability by pairing with another student or sharing your goals with a family member or friend.

Stay connected with other students in a great way to keep yourself accountable as you can support each other.

3. Be Realistic

In the previous all the important points, we suggested that you should set yourself goals. This is very important, but it’s equally important to be realistic when you set these goals.

If you’re working full time and also have family commitments, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to study 10 hours a day, and setting that as a goal is only setting yourself up for failure.

You need to balance your ideal amount of progress with how much you can actually achieve. You might want to complete an assignment three weeks before the deadline, but is it actually possible for you to do this?

Failing goals can be hugely demotivating and detrimental to your progress, so only set yourself goals that are both achievable and realistic.

4. Create a Study Space

Find a place in your home that you can use to set up a dedicated space for your studying. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room this will be perfect, but all you really need is a flat surface and a comfortable chair.

This can be the corner of your bedroom, the kitchen table, or even a regular table in a local library or coffee shop.

You need to make sure that your study space has a high-speed internet connection that is reliable.

You’ll need enough space for your computer or laptop, as well as any online course materials and writing utensils you’ll be using.

Make sure that you have good lighting as if the area is too dark, you might strain your eyes and become tired more quickly.

If you’re studying at home and have family members that can disturb you, make sure they know that this space is for studying and that you shouldn’t be disturbed while you work.

This is an extremely important tip with children as it will be hard to be productive if you’re constantly being interrupted. 

5. Understand Your Learning Style

5. Understand Your Learning Style

One of the main advantages of online learning is the freedom to study how you want to. To be successful at online learning you need to take advantage of this freedom and make it work for you.

Online learning environment doesn’t need to take place on weekdays between nine to five. If you’re at your most productive during the very early hours of the morning, then get up and study at 6 a.m.

If you’re more of a night owl, then leave your studying until after dinner or even into the early hours of the night. You can fill your weekdays with other commitments and study only at weekends.

You should also consider what type of learner you are. Some students are able to learn and study by highlighting chunks of text, while others are more visual and need diagrams and colorful images for information to sink in.

If you know the way you best process information, try to use this knowledge as much as you can to get the most out of your learning.

6. Create a Schedule

Successful completion of your online coursework part relies on you being able to do your studying and complete your assignments. If your only real commitment is your studies, then you can study as and when you want to.

However, many people who opt for online learning do so because it can fit in with other commitments. Many students continue to work while studying online or may have family members to look after.

Work and family commitments aren’t something that people can easily ignore so if something slips, it is often studying that gets squeezed and postponed.

This is why creating a study schedule is so important. You need to carve out time in your own schedule for studying and make sure that you adhere to this.

If you work nine to five on weekdays, you should pencil in a couple of hours before or after work for your studies.

This is especially important if you are taking online classes and have multiple assignments to complete.

It’s so easy to prioritize online college classes that are more interesting over others that aren’t but if you have a schedule that has a specific time set aside for each class, you will be more successful.

When you create your schedule, you should try to implement time-blocking strategies.

This means that you give yourself a set amount of time for a task and try to adhere to this. This works best if you have a timer so you can see how much time is remaining. 

We would also recommend that you schedule breaks. Although it’s tempting to study for several hours straight, it is rarely productive.

If you have two hours scheduled for studying, try to break this down further so that you take short breaks. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking breaks!

7. Actively Participate Whenever You Can

Just because you’re studying online doesn’t mean that you have to be isolated from your fellow students and your educator.

Many courses and online institutions have things in place to allow students to interact and you should take advantage of these whenever you can.

Whether it’s online study sessions over Zoom or question-and-answer opportunities with your educator, participate in these whenever you can.

There may even be social networks that you can join, such as course Discord or Slack servers.

These can be a great way to not only make new friends but to also find a support network that can help you feel more motivated when the course gets tough or frustrating.

8. Reward Yourself

Stay motivated when you’re studying online and have fewer positive interactions with other people. One easy way of keeping yourself motivated is to reward yourself whenever you are successful.

Set out some milestones for your course, such as submitting certain assignments or passing specific modules, and plan some rewards when you achieve them.

These don’t have to be huge and expensive rewards, they can be as simple as watching your favorite movie or eating your favorite meal.

Rewards will give you something to work towards and will help you associate good things with your hard work.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we listed eight helpful tips online that will help you to be successful in your next class. When you study online you need to keep on top of your schedule and keep yourself accountable.

Online classes can be a great way to study and we hope that the hints in this article will help you be successful after reading this article you will know how to be successful in online classes

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