Tips for taking online classes

Martina Frasca, Staff Writer

The coronavirus has put students in a stressful situation since their only option is to receive an education online. While some students like online classes, others prefer in-person classes depending on their learning style.

The switch from classes taking place in-person to online was very sudden. If you are a student that is not used to taking online classes, the transition can be difficult.

But there are tips that can help you succeed and get through this difficult time.

Instead of being in a classroom with your peers doing work together, or alone in a quiet library studying, you are probably home in a much more distracting environment. Between family members, televisions and other distractions around the house, it can be hard to focus. If possible, reduce distractions by studying in a separate room away from whatever is going to cause you to lose focus.

If you are having a hard time focusing, it can help to use a timer. Set a timer for however many minutes you want to focus on your work, and once the timer goes off, allow yourself to take a break.

Make a work schedule and stick to it. If you live with others, explain to them that this time period is for schoolwork and schoolwork only. Try following your schedule before the online transition.

Manage your time with a planner. During this time your planner can be your best friend. At home, classwork can be easily forgotten about. That’s why having a planner is important. It keeps you on schedule and potentially saves you from a failing grade.

While you keep track of all your classes, the workload can seem overwhelming. Try to break down big homework assignments into smaller ones. Instead of writing your paper all in one day, allow yourself enough time to work on it in multiple sittings.

Do not procrastinate. I know when we are home all day it can be tempting to stay in pajamas and lay around. Find a way to motivate yourself to get some work done. Maybe do all your work in the morning so you know you will have the rest of the day to do something else.

If you can, try to beat deadlines. Especially those of you who don’t want to feel like there’s a weight on your shoulders. Don’t rush through them, but it’s always better to be ahead of the game instead of falling behind.

Make sure you are constantly checking Blackboard and your email. Professors post on Blackboard and email constantly about updates and possible changes. If you don’t have notifications on for these things, you should turn them on.

Speak out to your professors. If you are struggling, not understanding or even if things are getting too much to handle, talk to them and tell them what’s up. Most likely they will be understanding and together you will be able to find a solution that works best for you.

Communicating with your professors is important, but talking with your classmates can be as well. It can feel like you’re teaching yourself and learning on your own when taking classes online, but that’s not the case. Not only will staying in touch help you with classwork but knowing you’re not alone will also motivate you.

Because of social distancing, we can’t come together and study, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have study sessions anymore. The Zoom app has been popular with professors who host online classes. Why not use it for your purposes as well and have a study session over zoom. If not, facetime works just as well.

The coronavirus has put a lot of events on hold, but it doesn’t have to affect and put our education on hold. We are all in this together and can adapt to the new changes together.