Nine Online Learning Tips to Help You Ace Your Online Course

Posted by Joann Doan on Feb 23, 2016 12:30:13 PM


"Take that class online. It's SO MUCH EASIER".

I hear that ALL the time! 

I hate to break it to you though...

Taking online classes does not necessarily mean classes are going to be "easier" and it does not necessarily mean you'll "automatically do well".

We went over what I think about online courses and why my classmates signed up for them, now let me share with you
9 Lessons that I have learned about HOW TO EXCEL in class and fully take advantage of online learning. 

#1.) Read the Announcements


Professors can't verbally remind you about due dates, but they will send out weekly announcements. 

Read those announcements.

And make sure you know what's due that week. The last thing you want is to miss an assignment you could have easily turned in (as we all know those assignment points really add up!). 

Sometimes Professors even post extra credit opportunities in there too! 

Okay...sometimes I don't want to read them either... and it's tempting to ignore those "pesky" notifications, BUT at least skim through them. 

It'll be worth it!


#2.)Participate in Discussions


There are a lot of online forums and discussions in online class. Depending on the class, those discussions are usually where the bulk of your grades come from. 

Oh, I feel ya. I don't like discussions either...

But online discussions aren't that bad! You don't need to mentally commit hours upon hours to read or comment. 

Online discussions are just as valuable as the discussions you would have in class. It's a great way for you to learn more about the subject and to get to know your classmates.   

#3.)Check the Calendar/Syllabus


 Professors will usually post due dates of assignments and tests on the online calendar or on the syllabus. Make sure you write it down in your planner or phone calendar, or Evernote, or wherever you want as long as you check it often so that nothing comes as a surprise.  

Once you submit an assignment, come back to the classroom calendar to make sure you have done everything that is assigned to you that week.

You may think you got everything done for the class, but it's easy to over look some assignments that you did not write down.   

#4.)Get Rid of Distractions


Sometimes it can be REALLY easy to forget that online classes are ACTUAL CLASSES!

You don't have to physically attend the class, so it's easy to forget that you have work to do. Remember to really focus on what you're learning when you are working on assignments for you online classes.

Get rid of any distractions that would keep you from finishing your work.

I get distracted if I study in my room. So, I know that if I want anything done, I need to go somewhere else to do my work. 

If I studied in my room, I'd make up excuses to take a break. "Oh...I finished a paragraph...I deserve a nap". I would end up napping for half an hour (okay...MAYBE my nap lasts for two hours - but hey who doesn't like sleep??), then I would watch YouTube videos to "wake me up", and then it's dinner time...and...and Joann can't study on an empty stomach... "Oops...look at the time..." 

That's no-no! Try to just focus and don't get distracted if possible. Get your work done! 


#5.)Don't wait last minute


Do NOT log in towards the end of the week and expect that you will still get your assignments done on time.

That's like showing up for the last 15 minutes of class and expecting to do well in class. 

"Hey Professor...I showed up...that's all that matters right?" 

NOPE...that's not how it works online either. 

  • Log in at the beginning of the week
  • Take note of what you need to do
  • Pace it how you'd like.
  • Log in a couple of times after that too to make sure you are up to date with you class.  


#6.)Set Time Aside 


Yes, I know I said that online classes do not put you life on hold, but you should at least block some time off to make sure you can get assignments done.

If you have a two-hour gap in your schedule, maybe block one-hour off and dedicate it solely to that class. Doing so will make sure that you are able to get your assignments done and that you can focus on what you are learning.

You know what times work best for you and you are given the flexibility to choose when to study for your classes. Take advantage of your schedule flexibility and set time aside for your class. 

#7.)Turn things on time

 Turn =assignments-in-on-time

 This sounds like a no brainer, but it's worth noting - make sure you turn things on time!

I don't just mean "turn it in before the due date", but make sure time zones won't keep you from turning in assignments late.

When I was in South Korea, I had to make sure the assignments I turned in were according to MST. I knew, "But it was 12am over where I'm at" was not going to work on my Professor.  

#8.) Have reliable technology


Taking online classes requires heavy use of technology. You will be reading/watching your lectures online, posting discussions online, and turning in assignments online.

As I said before, Professors give you a heads up of when assignments are due. So, you know when you should have your assignments done. If you know you won't have Wi-Fi at home, you can make time to go to the library and get it done.

Excuses like "my computer wasn't working" or "my Wi-Fi shut down" are not acceptable (Those excuses didn't even work in High School - they especially won't work now...although I wish it did!).  


#9.)Ask questions


It might seem like you're on your own when it comes to online classes, but that's NOT the case AT ALL!

If you do not understand something, don't hesitate to email the professors and ask them to clarify. 

Some professors even have Skype office hours if you feel more comfortable seeing their faces when speaking to them.

Online courses have the same goals as traditional courses. Professors want you to learn the material and they want to help you understand.  

Ask away my friend! You're paying for the class and if you need help, reach out!  

Wrap up

Alright, so those are some things I've learned from taking online courses. Hopefully these tips will help you earn your online degree with great grades! 

If you have any questions or concerns that you'd like me to answer about taking online classes post them down below. I'd be happy to answer them for you!  


Best of luck and until next time,     

Joann Doan   


Topics: Education Insight, Online Classes, Ask Me About Online, Classes, College Tips

Request More Information

Posts by Topic

see all

Subscribe to Email Updates