What are Online Classes?
Technology has had a massive impact on education systems. One major feature and idea that technology has introduced in this field is online classes. Online classes refer to directed learning processes that consist of scholarly sources such as journal articles, online lectures, images, online discussion forums, and many more. All these classes happen online, unlike the usual offline, face-to-face classes. At the end of the course, students are tested with either an online or an offline examination. The exam tests them on what they have learned throughout their online course.
How Long Do Online Courses Last?
The length of an individual's online courses vary. Some online courses can be completed in one month and one week, while others can extend to even a year. However, in most universities and colleges, numerous online courses tend to range between eight and nine weeks.
Helpful Tips to Implement When Taking Online College Courses
If you are considering taking an online college course, then here are some of the tips you can use to ensure you get the best out of your online program.
Treat the course like any other "real" course.
When most people hear of online college courses, they tend to treat these courses more like part-time. This idea has made most people lose concentration in these classes, which, as a result, has seen them fail in these courses. To ensure that you pass when you take this online college course, first treat it like any other course you take offline. However, it is easier said than done. To ensure you give it as much priority as any other offline course, ensure you are dedicated to learning it and that you follow through with every class. Imagine it is an offline class and go ahead and "appear" for your lesson. If you do this regularly, or better yet, numerous times, you will not be left behind. Such discipline will see you handle the course smoothly and ultimately pass the module.
Hold yourself accountable for every class.
Online classes come with no consequences, such that when one misses them, they have to do an appropriate punishment. There are no signing sheets that can verify that you attended the class. Due to the lack of such rigorous follow-ups and consequences, most people do not see the need to participate in all their online classes. The majority of the students have reported having attended at least a quarter of all their online classes. This is sad and unfortunate because they are the ones that end up suffering in their grades.
To ensure you are not among these students who end up failing in their final online exams, try to set a goal you want to accomplish in your online course at the beginning of the semester. After you set it, analyze it every week to see how far or how close you are to achieving it. Holding such accountability to yourself keeps you on track with your online module. However, it is challenging to keep track of one's educational goals. Therefore, if you need help, try to recruit a friend, sibling, or spouse who will keep you in check when it comes to these online classes.
Create a learning schedule that you will follow
Time is a resource that can never be repurchased. Therefore, once it passes, it cannot be replaced. Most students struggle to separate time for learning and time for other activities. To ensure you get a hold of the two, create a weekly schedule that you will abide by, no matter what. As you create the program, be specific and allocate time for your social activities, your chores, your alone time, and also your online and offline courses.
If an online course, for example, if offered every Friday and Wednesday from 9.00 am to 12 noon, ensure you allocate this time to online classes. Designating time as is required will help you complete your assignments on time, catch up with the syllabus, watching important lectures, complete your coursework, and even participate in the online class forums. If you stay committed to your schedule, you will be impressed by the results.
Participate in your online class
One rick that a student can use to ensure they are active in their online classes is to take up active online roles in the course discussions. Such responsibility will help in keeping you on your toes, and also instill the discipline of always attending the online class. Similarly, it will help you to acquire a better understanding of the course materials, and even help you engage with your classmates. As you engage with your classmates, you will get help on areas that you are not good at, which will help avoid cramming when it comes to the final examinations.
Ensure you follow discussion boards and other people's responses where people get to post questions on issues, topics, and projects they could be having difficulties in. Sharing information will give you clarification and avoid giving the wrong answers in assignments and tests. Whenever somebody has such active participation, they tend to check in frequently, which consequently makes them attend more of their classes.
Practice time management
Time management is a skill that most students do not possess. In most cases, students have been confused by their freedom, making them prioritize unnecessary things the most. If you do not have solid time management skills, then you will tend to forfeit a lot of essential stuff for less essential ones. For instance, a student with an online course who lacks excellent time management skills can forego participating in an online discussion forum, only to attend a party.
Although attending a party helps you work on your social life, it, however, is not as crucial as your grades. Thus, ensure you practice time management. Some of the ways you can practice this skill, for example, is developing a schedule and abiding by it. You can also try looking at the syllabus of your online course and plan for all the major tests and assignments. Determining and marking these important dates on your calendar will help you prepare thoroughly and beforehand.
Eliminate both online and offline distractions
Distractions are numerous when one is taking an online course. For instance, one could be distracted by Netflix, a tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram live. The fact is that one needs to be prepared to deal with all of these online distractions. There are also other offline distractions. It could be noise from outside, a poor learning environment, or the situation they are in. The only way a student can escape these online and offline distractions is if they know how to lessen them rather than eliminate them. The truth of the matter is that one cannot avoid Netflix forever.
Similarly, it is impossible for most students nowadays to keep away from social media even for five minutes. Therefore, rather than get rid of them entirely, try to analyze how one can lessen their impact. For instance, one can do the following:
- Use their headphones if they are operating in a noisy environment.
- Pick a more serene learning environment, for example, a local coffee shop, if and only they feel the noise at their previous workspace has exceeded.
- Alert your family about your learning time, to ensure that they do not disturb you or even assign you tasks when you are meant to study.
- Download and install a website blocker to eliminate the chances of getting popups and notifications now and then while you are studying. Blocking the apps that give you these notifications will provide you with the concentration and attention you need to understand the material you are learning.
Create a convenient learning environment
Since these classes re online, it means that students can learn them anywhere away from the classrooms. The significant mistakes most students make when they are picking a learning environment for studying these online college courses is selecting an area that either has numerous distractions or one that is not fit for studying. For example, you cannot pick to study in your family restaurant, yet you know you will be called now and then to handle some tasks. Therefore, whatever workspace you choose, whether it is the town library, your room, your kitchen table, or studio, ensure that it best suits you and that it has little to no distractions. The good news is that one can always experiment on a workspace one day and change it out the next if it does not suit them. Therefore, do not feel tied to work in only one space. Besides that, as you select your learning environment, ensure you also ensure that it:
- Has high-speed internet access-This is to avoid cases of your internet buffering in the middle of watching a lecture, taking an online test, or participating in an online discussion.
- Has the required learning materials- In this case, most people are advised to use a library because of its extensive collection in educational books, journals, articles, newspapers, and so on.
- Has headphones to help you listen and even watch lectures, videos, and discussions without disrupting other people.
Smart Ideas to Help You Deal With Your Online Exam
If you have managed to complete your online class and are now required to do a final online exam, do not panic. All you need to do is to abide by these simple rules:
Read the exam guidelines thoroughly
Do not expect the exam guidelines for your offline tests to be similar to those of your online exams. There is always a twist in all. To ensure you what is required of you in the examination, take your time and carefully read through the questions. For instance, analyze what the required location of the exam is, what time the exam is supposed to be done, and other essential factors that your instructor has given concerning the exam.
Plan your time well
After you have identified when the test will take place, go ahead and prepare for it thoroughly. You can create a schedule of when you are going to be researching and revising for your upcoming test. Similarly, you can also arrange for how you will hold online discussions for areas that you are not good at or for domains you need clarification in. Go through your notes, watch your instructor lectures, analyze the feedback from previous tests, and research on how to best answer questions.
Anticipate and deal with technical problems
A lot can happen during or before the day of the examination. If, for example, your internet connection happens to be down during the days leading up to your exam, ensure you contact your professor immediately. Otherwise, failure to contact your instructor will see him or her issue the review as usual, and give the exam deadline. Call your instructor directly and tell them the exact problem that has occurred either before or during the exam. Ensure you have valid evidence to support your claims. You can, for instance, take a screenshot of the issue and forward it to your instructor.
Go through your work before you submit it.
Proofreading any assignment is essential because it helps one get rid of errors that could otherwise jeopardize the quality of their work. Thus, go through every answer you have provided to ensure that it is phrased correctly, and that answers the primary question. If at all, it is not, change it. Also, check your answers for typing mistakes, grammatical errors, and repetition.
Contrary to what most people think, online classes are very easy to nail. They only require you to get a useful guide on how to go about them. This guide provided by us will help you stay committed to your online course and also help you get the best grades.