Know your deadlines!
Online school can make deadlines super confusing to keep track of. To solve this issue get an academic planner to keep track of all your deadlines, and always keep it updated. My planner has a monthly calendar, along with daily to-do’s. Make sure to frequently check for updates from your teachers to keep your planner updated. I have found that the times when assignments are due can be a lot more fluid during online classes, so remember to also write down the due times.
Don’t separate online classes from real classes in your head
Just because you are at home during your class does not mean that this class is any different from a real class. A class is not easier just because it is online. It also does not have less impact on your overall school experience. I definitely feel more involved in my classes when they are at school and I am in the right environment, but the classes still matter for your overall school experience.
Have a good at home study space
This does not mean your bed. There is no instance where your bed is a good at home study space, unless there is no other option. The characteristics of a good at home study space are that it is decluttered, it has almost nothing that is not academic related, all of your necessary stationary are on it, it is away from distractions like your family, you have everything you will need for class, and you are able to sit or stand in a position where you are alert and comfortable. Make sure all of your papers are organized, and keep your planner close.
Remove as many distractions as possible
When I think of distractions during class, I think of mainly my family, and other technology. The first can’t be helped, we are at home after all. But the second can be dealt with. Unless you truly need it or can’t be without it, put your phone in a different room. If it needs to be by you, then put it on do not disturb. Not only is a phone buzzing super distracting, it is so easy to get lost in the social media vortex and miss important parts of your lesson. Phone time can be a reward for studying and paying attention, but try to keep it away from you during your classes.
Engaging, asking questions, these are all a part of participation. Participation might not just help out your grade, it will also make your environment feel a lot more like school. Online classes make “drifting away,” way too easy. Engagement will help you feel apart of the class and not so far away. It may not seem important, but participation can impact your grade, so I highly suggest your stay focused and engaged throughout your lessons.
Learn how to deal with the basic tech issues that might come up
Being tech-savvy is now more important than ever. Out of everything on this list, this is probably the hardest for me to do. I happen to have a really tech-savvy dad, but if there is no one around you that can help, find someone in your class or one of your teachers that can help you to learn how to deal with tech issues. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help, being this is your education on the line! It is just like asking a question when school was in person.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get clarification
If you have a question or are confused by something, ask the teacher! It is way too easy to fall behind or never completely learn something in an online class. You may believe that what you don’t know will eventually sort itself out, but this might not even happen before you see it on a test! Due dates and times can also change on a teachers whim, so to make sure you always have the most up to date information, don’t be afraid to ask questions or get clarification.
Find ways to keep your motivation
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know for me online class is super-duper boring. They are missing all the fun parts of school! So one of the biggest issues is how to keep your motivation. Don’t do everything all at once, take breaks. Also reward yourself! I have made a habit to go jump on my trampoline for as long as I want after I finish a day of online school. Find a motivator that works for you, and also helps you get some exercise after a very long day.
Online classes are very tough, and so different from in person, but if you follow these tips and stay focused, you can still get good grades and make the most out of your classes!