Online schooling is growing rapidly, especially with COVID-19 keeping everyone on their toes these days. Universities are beginning to provide more classes and majors online not only to keep students safe from the effects of a pandemic but to allow anyone to pursue an education no matter their circumstances.
Whether you’re a first-time student staying ahead of the coronavirus curve or trying to get a degree while working a full-time job, online schooling provides wonderful opportunities for everyone. However, much of online school is what you make of it. Therefore, you have to put yourself in a position to succeed more so than if you were fully immersed in a campus setting.
You’ve already registered in the higher learning center of your choice by now and you’re ready to go! This guide will now help you achieve maximum productivity with your online schooling so you can earn your grades, advance your education, get the available help you need from your school — and feel fulfilled throughout the entire process:
Dress Your Best
When attending school from home, it’s quite tempting to spend a majority of your day in pajamas or other comfortable attire. At the same time, it’s important to feel comfortable, especially while at home. PJs and gym shorts aren’t always the best outfits when trying to be productive. Dress professionally, and you’ll find it easier to study like a professional.
You don’t have to put on a suit and tie just to attend online classes unless that’s something you really like to do, then go for it. What’s more important than the exact outfit you choose is how it makes you feel. If a pair of sweatpants make you feel lethargic, swap them out for some jeans. A simple costume change can alter your mindset from lounging and relaxing to focused and studious.
They say dress for the job you want, so maybe have some fun with your wardrobe from time to time. For example, if you’re studying to enter the medical field, perhaps donning a pair of your favorite scrubs will give you the motivation you need to ace a tough exam or study with more gusto.
Designate Study Times
The key to successful online schooling is a mixture of discipline and structure. Oftentimes you will be given nothing more than a textbook and an assignment list to complete a course. Sure, there’s an instructor available to answer questions and give the occasional lecture, but most of the work falls on your shoulders.
Online classes are great because of the flexibility they give you, but that flexibility can also be your downfall. Not having to wake up for lectures can lead to bad habits that lead to procrastination and half-baked efforts to complete assignments. The solution is simple; designate specific study times in your Calendar.
By leveraging your Calendar, you can hold yourself accountable for putting the work into even your hardest classes. Setting study time in your schedule will also stop you from making last-minute plans that put your education on hold.
Track Every Deadline
School is full of deadlines, and each one of them is important. Submitting an assignment even a day late can drastically impact your grade. Making yourself aware of upcoming tests and projects enables you to properly plan for them instead of cramming at the last minute.
Take a moment to look through your class schedules and note down any important deadlines you see. This will include assignment submission dates, lecture times, and any optional items that might be worth attending to boost your grade. In addition, final exams might have a range of dates where you’re able to take them, so pick a deadline yourself so you can make yourself prepared by a certain time.
It’s worth considering creating a unique calendar for each one of your classes, so you don’t get deadlines mixed up. At the very least, use color-coding to differentiate your courses, so you don’t get unnecessarily flustered.
Take Advantage of Resources
You might feel like you’re on your own when taking online classes. You’re not on campus, and there are no other students to relate to and connect with. However, there are still plenty of resources available to you if you seek them out. Be sure to take advantage of every single one of them.
The following are some examples of resources your instructor or university usually provides — even to their online students:
- Tutoring services
- Library database
- Recorded lectures
- Free accounts for learning apps and useful software
- Financial assistance
- Professional counseling
- Academic advising
All of these resources can be used to make online school feel like the complete package. With so much assistance at your fingerprints, you’ll be able to eliminate a lot of the stress that comes with school and replace it with productivity and achievement.
Connect With Other Students
While you might not be in a physical classroom setting, there are plenty of other students taking the same courses that you can connect with. Some of them you will see in Zoom meetings, while others you might only interact within online discussion boards. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can connect with your peers to form study and support groups for the duration of the semester.
Dozens of apps can be used to connect with other students to study together, share notes, and more. For example, Google documents can be easily shared, group texts can be created on numerous platforms, and some apps such as Discord allow you to do all of the above and more. You might even develop relationships that extend long past the day of the final exam.
At the end of the day, nothing beats a good old-fashioned work ethic. These tips will point you in the right direction and set the stage for success, but ultimately it’s up to you to make online school a great experience.
By Howie Jones