Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean online classes will be easy. A lot of people might have a hard time adapting to the change, need support from their friends, or be interacting with others to prosper!
However, if you feel overwhelmed as an online learner, we have multiple ways to help you!
At Gradehacker, the non-traditional student’s #1 resource, we have years of experience sharing high-quality information with adult learners and helping them with their entire classes so they can have the best learning experience!
In this blog, we want to show you how you can simplify and ease your online courses!
Set up a Space Accordingly and Keep it Organized
As an online student, setting up a space that works for you is important. This can include:
Whether it’s a small corner of your room or a separate study area, creating an environment specifically for your online courses can help you stay focused and organized.
This will not only be good for your mental health in the long run but also improve the level of difficulty you can get, making you feel capable and motivated.
Start by keeping your space clutter-free and ensuring you have all the necessary materials and equipment nearby. For example, these can be a comfortable chair, a desk or table, and any class materials.
You can consider organizing your space in a way that allows easy access to your computer or laptop and any additional devices or tools you may need.
Setting up a space accordingly and keeping it organized can enhance your online learning experience and maximize your productivity.
If you have doubts about how you can achieve this, here is a quick guide
Create a Routine And Stick to it
Creating a routine is essential when it comes to taking online courses.
This can be studying at specific times, taking breaks, and using just the necessary resources.
Sometimes, sticking to your schedule by setting reminders or adapting to the new home environment can be challenging, but creating a routine and sticking to it’s key if you want to succeed with your online education.
You’ll see that having a routine will be critical for those moments when you need to study but feel unmotivated.
But since we know it’s far from being a similar experience to the in-person classes, and some of you might feel turned off by it, here are some steps you can take to set up this routine:
By following these steps, you can establish an effective routine for online classes that will help you stay focused and achieve academic success.
Know What Type of Student You Are
Understanding what type of learner you are can greatly enhance your online class experience and improve your study habits.
There are three main types of learners:
A tactile learner learns best through hands-on activities and physical interaction. If you’re a tactile learner, consider incorporating practical exercises or experiments into your online classwork to enhance your understanding.
Visual learners, on the other hand, benefit from visual aids such as diagrams, charts, and videos. Use visual resources provided by your instructors or create your own visual representations to reinforce your learning.
Lastly, auditive learners absorb information best through listening and speaking.
Participating in online discussions, recording lectures for review, or utilizing audio resources can help auditive learners maximize their learning potential.
By recognizing your learning style and tailoring your study methods accordingly, you can optimize your online class experience and achieve better academic outcomes.
More resources for all students!
Get Organized Digitally
In the digital world, being organized is essential. If your online program is in a different state, you’ll need to manage your time zones to ensure you don’t miss any classes or deadlines.
You should also create folders on your computer for each class and organize files and documents so you can later find the information you need easier.
Bookmarks are also a great way to store important websites or pages related to your classes so you can easily access them later on. This will also come in handy when working on your video lectures since there’s a lot of information to remember.
Setting up an email system is essential for online classes. Try creating separate folders for each class where you can store all the emails.
Also, developing a detailed checklist and actively eliminating distractions are crucial steps to maximize focus and productivity during virtual classes.
Start by setting up a dedicated workspace on your computer or device, where you can access all your class materials and assignments. Utilize digital calendars and task management apps to keep track of deadlines, class schedules, and important events.
You can streamline your online learning journey and enhance your productivity by getting organized digitally.
Stand Out in Discussion Posts
Most students make the big mistake of taking discussion posts as unimportant assignments that don’t require much of their attention.
One of our best tips is to actually use these online forums to stand out from the rest and make your professor get to know you better and see how committed you are to their class.
You need to:
The end goal is to earn as many replies as possible so your post visually stands out from the rest. We guarantee you that your professor will notice this and remember your understanding when reviewing your essays and assignments.
You can learn more about these discussion post tips in our video:
Progress Faster With Apps
As an online student, you’ll spend most of your time in front of your PC and use it for almost everything.
Nowadays, there are tons of different apps you can use to accelerate and improve your learning experience, but ultimately, you’ll make a huge difference by just using two or three:
The first task you need to cover is writing.
Being a college student means writing a lot, so it’s critical that you find a robust writing app that can check your grammar, identify mistakes, and suggest how to improve your texts.
One of the best options is Grammarly. We have years of using it to help students like you with their essays and think it’s the top choice. It’s accurate, fits all the academic requirements, and even has a plagiarism checker.
But if you want to go for another great option, you can use ProWritingAid. It pretty much has the same features and has cheaper prices, but its free version isn’t as good, and some of its styling features aren’t as accurate as Grammarly’s.
You can learn more about them in our Grammarly vs. ProWritingAid comparison.
Once you have an app that improves your writing skills, you need to have a clean space where you can take all the important notes and organize everything you need to do.
We recommend Notion, one of the most popular note-taking apps of the last few years. It’s modern, intuitive, synchronizes across devices, has a wide range of features (like an AI and dozens of templates), and its free version is more than enough for a college student to use.
But if you are looking for an alternative, you can go for Evernote. It’s undeniably the most popular app for taking notes, and besides having the same key tools that Notion has, what it offers can be a bit more professional. Still, it’s free version isn’t as solid.
Finally, as you’ll also dedicate multiple hours to reading, we recommend you choose an app that helps you accelerate your reading time.
One of our favorite apps for this is Speechify. It’s a text-to-speech converter that reads out loud whichever text you want. You choose from multiple voice options and even set the reading speed.
Because you can use it either on your PC or mobile device, it’s a great choice for when you are commuting to work or going out for a walk. You can learn more about it in our Speechify review.
Award Yourself For Motivation
One powerful strategy to boost motivation while taking online classes is to reward yourself for your accomplishments.
Rewarding yourself can help increase your motivation by providing a tangible incentive and a sense of accomplishment. When you successfully complete a challenging assignment or achieve a specific academic goal, take a moment to acknowledge your efforts.
Treat yourself to something you enjoy, such as indulging in your favorite dessert, taking a relaxing break, or purchasing something you’ve been wanting.
By recognizing and celebrating your achievements, you foster a positive mindset and create a positive reinforcement loop that fuels your motivation to continue excelling in your online classes.
Include Free Time Into Your Routine
In today’s fast-paced world, getting caught up in a monotonous routine is easy. And while having one is important, leaving some free time to do other things outside of your responsibilities is just as critical.
Go to the movie theater, exercise, or read books unrelated to your studies. Maybe playing an instrument, painting, or cooking can be a great way to give yourself a break from time to time.
Similarly, if you are going to take classes online and also have a remote job, it’s important to recognize the value of taking breaks from isolation.
You can go to a place where more people are studying, like a library or a coffee shop. You need to take time out of your day to connect with friends and family and engage in meaningful activities.
Most online courses provide a flexible schedule if we compare them to campus classes, so why not take advantage of it while still taking care of our time and career goals?
This way, you’ll avoid burnout, fatigue, and many other consequences that come along. If you want some ideas, you can check our list of self-care tips!
Don't Stay in PJs All Day!
When it comes to online classes, it can be tempting to roll out of bed and stay in your cozy PJs all day. Still, getting dressed and ready for your classes is more important than you may think.
It puts you in the right mindset for learning and helps establish a routine and a sense of normalcy, which is crucial when looking to stick to a routine.
By getting ready for your classes, you signal yourself that it’s time to focus and be productive. So, put on some presentable clothes, brush your teeth, and fix your hair.
You’ll feel more motivated and prepared to tackle your coursework and approach your online classes as if you were attending in person.
So don’t underestimate the power of getting out of your PJs and starting your day on the right foot.
Mastering Online Classes
With the right mindset, tools, and strategies, you can master online classes with ease.
Put in the effort to get ready for your classes each day, reward yourself for your accomplishments, and understand what type of learner you are so that you can personalize your study methods.
By implementing these strategies into your daily routine, you’ll be well on your way to excelling in all of your online courses.
And if you’d like more information on how to enhance your online courses, check these blog posts: