By Michelle Lecumberry, News Editor.
Often times, students look at online classes as easier alternative to traditional classes, one in which you can relax and turn everything in at the last minute. Unfortunately for students who subscribe to this belief, it is false. Online Classes are as much work as an in-person class and may be more work, because they require diligence and self-discipline. There’s no one holding your hand to remind you of due dates, so it’s all on you. Like everything else, online classes has its pros and cons.. For example, you set your own schedule. You don’t have to wake up and go to class. But, that means it is easier to forget about the class and miss deadlines, as you don’t have to physically go the class two, three, or five times every week.
- Create a Schedule- Look at your daily schedule. Ask yourself. “Am I working?” “Do I have other responsibilities besides school?” Look at the time you will need to complete the assignments and then set that time aside for the class and make it a part of your schedule just like a “normal” class. Do NOT just think, “I’ll just do it later.” Set a time and stick to it.
- Make a List of ALL Major Assignments- The majority of the professors will provide you with a calendar/syllabus. Print it out. Put it in your calendar, set reminders for important due dates. Organization is key.
- Stay Organized.– Keep a bullet journal, planner, or notebook. Use anything that works for you to keep your information in order. Asana is a great website that allows you to create your own calendar and personalize the page according to your needs. You can even have different pages for all your classes.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask– Email your professor. Ask a classmate. Don’t be afraid. Professors are not perfect, mistakes happen. If you have questions ask. The majority of the time professors see this as a sign that you are invested in the class and they will be happy to answers all your questions.
- Know your Technology– Apps! Apps! We are in the 21st century, y’all. Let’s take advantage of it! There are apps for reminders, timers, site blocking, etc. Use whatever works for you and your device. It is extremely important that you know your technology. If you know your computer can crash in the middle of an assignment, then don’t leave everything for last minute. Know that if your computer has problems connecting to wifi or hotspots, Lone Star has free wifi for all the students and faculty and if that doesn’t work, then try the public library or Starbucks. Most McDonald’s even have free wifi. Do whatever it takes to submit that assignment on time. Lastly, be aware of the platform your class is using. Take a tour and become familiar with all the different tabs and where you can find the resources and information.
- Remember to Focus– Staying focused can be hard when you are tempted to leave your online class for something more…interesting. Use site blockers! Stayfocusd and SelfControl are softwares that let you customize what sites you want to block (like Facebook or Twitter) and for how much time. Make sure to also keep your other devices away from you when you are working. Just like if you were in a classroom. You are in total control of your time, take advantage of that. Divide studying into 25 minute intervals, give yourself a 5 min rest and repeat!
- Proofread- This is so important. Don’t send an email or post a discussion without reading it at least twice. For essays, there are wonderful sites online that will proofread for you. You can even take advantage of the writing lab on campus. Try Grammarly, it’s a great site that does the work for you, but remember technology is not perfect. Use your friends, family or classmates to proofread your essays. Every point matters.