Online Classes: 5 Best Tips for Getting the most out of your Classes Online

Online Classes: 5 Best Tips for Getting the most out of your Classes Online

Online classes! The world has been talking about this for years now. There are free ones, cheap ones, very expensive ones (by those guys who usually flaunt their rides in their garages), even full-blown university courses that you can take online without having to go to the university. 

In the year 2020, online classes became the only option for most people going back to school, including businesses that didn’t want to stop training as well as individuals who needed to learn relevant skills. 

So, I thought it was high time that we made a post on online classes: 5 best tips for getting the most out of your classes online, irrespective of the type of online class.

What Does Online Classes Mean?

Online classes are courses conducted over the internet. They are generally conducted through a learning management system, like Gopius LMS, in which learners can engage with instructors, administrators and fellow learners. Thy can also view their progress as well as course syllabus. These LMSs can also be used by organizations and schools, so long as there is a need for learning to be gotten online or blended.

Online classes are a double-edged sword; it is convenient to them from home but also very easy to get distracted.

Hence, there are some things that I think you should know, so you can prepare and be as successful as possible in whatever online class you’re going to take.

Read also: Taking Online Classes: What You stand to benefit

5 Best Tips for getting the most out of your Classes Online

In this post, we’re going to share five tips for helping you prepare for and get the most out of all kinds of online classes. 

This is helpful for anybody going back to school in a formal setting (both online and blended learning), taking an online class independently, working remotely, or undergoing some form of online training. 

So, whichever camp you’re in, let’s get started. 

Tip 1: Treat online classes just like real in-person classes. 

The main problem with online classes is that they are usually taught asynchronously – the instructor or the teacher prepares material ahead of time and then you do it at a different time. This might be changing a bit now, since a lot of schools and businesses are going fully online.

A lot of classes are held via video conferencing apps like Zoom, Google meet and Hangouts, even though this doesn’t change the fact that you’re still going to have a lot of asynchronous learning. You are going to be given a lot of independent reading assignments, home works, assignments and you will have to do them on your own at home.

The problem with this is that it becomes really easy to fall behind if you’re not self-disciplined. 

In-Person Classes

In-person classes are in person and they happen on a schedule; that schedule makes it a lot easier to stay on top of your reading – all of your home works, assignments and it also gives your day a bit more structure as well. With online classes, there are a lot of structures that are lacking. 

So do whatever you can to treat your online classes just like their real classes in terms of schedule, where you do them, in terms of everything. Maybe your teachers already have you covered. But in case they do not, you will have to do it for yourself. 

  1. Set up a dedicated workspace for yourself, wherever you live.   
  2. Create recurring events on your calendar for all your classes. At the beginning of each week, look ahead at what you’ve got on your calendar and then build a schedule for yourself making plans for homework or any other events in the gaps between or during classes.
  3. Keep up with your routines. Have a morning routine that helps you get ready for the day. Also builds some momentum, so you start your online learning feeling fresh 

Tip 2:  Update your calendar and to-do list regularly 

Updating your calendar and to-do list mainly means adding new events to your calendar and new tasks to your to-do list the moment you get them. It is already hard enough to keep track of loads of events and tasks straight in your head during normal times. 

But when everything moves online, it even gets worse as you lose one key component which is location. Location is a huge part of this process as your memories get inextricably tied to where you were when you experience them. This also applies to your recollection of what happens when you go through a day of classes. 

Keep time zones in mind as well. You want to make sure that you have the right time zones on your calendar. With Google Calendar, Calendly and pretty much every other calendar software out there. You can actually choose the time zone and any event you’re creating and then it will automatically translate the time zone you’re looking at your full calendar. 

If you’re trying to schedule events with a study group (like a virtual project group) and you’re trying to figure out when everyone can meet. You can also use tools like Google Groups lets everyone input the times they’re available and it will automatically do the time zone translation for you. 

Tip 3: Get digitally organized.

With in-person classes, there are often a lot of paper handouts creating an emphasis on physical organization of the beautiful analog world. However, when classes move online, it becomes a different ball game all together.

Getting organized digitally means you have to learn how to organize all of your handouts on your computer. 

PS: don’t be that guy who saves everything to desktop, creating a bunch of mess files;

  1. Always create a folder in your file management system for every class that you’re taking 
  2. Create subfolders for every project you have within those classes that has more than one file associated with it.
  3. Have a notebook for each class whether you’re writing or not. Yes, notes with a pen on paper or using a tablet or you’re typing them into a computer. 

You want to have a specific place where everything for each class gets organized and grouped together. 

Tip 4: Break up your Days to Rejuvenate Yourself. 

This could be as simple as, every once in a while, getting up from your desk and stretching a bit or going for a walk moving around a bit. If you have a decent amount of room in your home, you could also take this a bit further by, maybe switching locations during the day going from your desk to the kitchen table back to the desk. But even if you’re not working with a whole lot of space just getting up and giving yourself some of these brakes will help you aplenty.

Tip 5: Form a Virtual Study Group

Do this by asking a few of your classmates or colleagues to meet up with you in Google hangouts or Zoom a few times a week so you can study together.

In Conclusion

After the year 2020, the majority agrees that online learning has come to stay. The most you can do is to accept the fact as well and try to make the best out of your online classes. As itemized in the post: treat your online classes just like your regular classes; get serious with your calendar and to-do list; get digitally organized by handling your class files properly; break up your days to rejuvenate yourself; and form a virtual study group.

As additional tips: start the day with a walk, plan regular breaks, use good postures while studying and try walking while you listen to lectures.

I am sure you got value. 

Thank you for sticking around to the end and I’m really glad that you enjoyed the tips shared. 

Do not forget to like this post, drop a comment and share.

Read also: Most popular forms of online classes

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Dr. Godwin Pius

Dr. Godwin Pius Ekpo is an academia, edtech advocate and e-learning software provider. Discovering better ways of improving teaching and learning through the right application of innovative technologies is his passion. A proud and confident teacher; a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator and Trainer!

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