tips for online classes

Are you taking classes online and looking for tips for online classes? Here are the best tips for how to survive online classes.

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tips for online classes

Since recently a lot more people have been taking online classes because of COVID, more and more people are looking for tips for online classes.

As someone who took tons of online classes throughout college and got A’s in nearly all of them, I’m sharing some of my best tips when it comes to how to manage online classes.

After this post you’ll have all of the online school tips you need in order to thrive in your online classes!

This post is all about tips for online classes.

The Best Tips For Online Classes

1. Have A Designated Study Space

When taking online classes, it can be really tempting to do your class work in cozy spaces in your house, like your bed or couch. However, you’ll likely have trouble focusing in spaces that you typically use to relax. Having a designated study space where you can go to get your brain in homework mode for online classes is really important.

Related: 18 Insanely Cute Study Table Ideas That Are Perfect For Small Spaces

2. Grab A Hot Drink To Help You Stay Focused

This is another way to get your brain in “homework mode” and ready to work. If I was ever having a lot of trouble focusing when working on stuff for online classes, I’d make a cup of tea or coffee to get me back into focus mode.

3. Don’t Have Anything Distracting Playing In The Background

Along with doing homework from your bed or couch, it can be really tempting to have something playing on your TV in the background when you’re doing work for online classes at home.

If you have something distracting playing on the TV though, you’ll probably get distracted and not get as much work done.

Related: 6 Secrets to Help You Study More Productively

4. Use Youtube Ambiences To Help You Focus

I recommend not having anything distracting playing on the TV in the background, but something that really helped me when I was taking online classes from home was to play youtube ambiences to help me focus.

There are all kinds of ambiences to choose from, and you can probably find some good ones if you just search “study ambience.” I really liked using coffee shop ambiences and Harry Potter library ambiences to help me get in study mode. They’re peaceful and not distracting, so they’re perfect for doing homework!

This is something that I seriously swear by for getting work done from home. I still do it all the time.

4. If A Time For Class Isn’t Scheduled, Schedule A Time To Work On It

With online classes that don’t have a lecture or a scheduled meeting time, it is SUPER easy to forget to work on stuff from the class altogether if you don’t schedule in some time to work on it every week. So it is really important to make sure that you’re blocking out some time to work on online classes.

I would usually just choose a day of the week that I didn’t have any other classes to get my stuff done for online classes.

Related: The Study Method That Will Help You Ace Your Next Exam

5. Write Down All Assignments In A Planner

how to manage online classes

I literally do not know how people get through college without using a planner. Using a planner to keep track of everything you have to do in college helps with time management and prioritizing IMMENSELY and I highly recommend using one, especially for keeping track of online classes.

6. Read The Materials

For most online classes that don’t have a Zoom meeting, it is super easy to not read the materials because no one is really checking that you do.

However, I would definitely recommend staying on top of the readings and course materials, especially if you’re going to be tested on them later on. Cramming a ton of material that you didn’t read before you take a test for an online class is…not fun.

There were definitely some online classes I took where the professors assigned readings just for the sake of assigning readings though. Or some where the materials and readings weren’t helpful and weren’t teaching me anything at all.

If you’re not going to be tested on the materials and you don’t feel like they’re helping you learn at all, then I would say use your good judgement to decide whether or not to read the materials.

Related: The Best College Freshman Advice For Your First Day At College

7. Keep Your Phone Away From You

Online classes can be pretty boring and it can be hard to motivate yourself to do the work. It is so easy when you sit down to do homework for online classes to get bored and pick up your phone, and then fall into a black hole only to look up from Tik Tok 2 hours later realizing that you haven’t gotten any work done (speaking from experience).

My best advice for this is to just take the temptation away while you try to get work done. Put your phone in a different room for an hour or two and you’ll be able to get so much more done in that time than you would if you were picking up your phone every twenty minutes.


8. If You’re Having Trouble, Reach Out To Your Professor

Some online classes can be pretty intense and hard to keep up with. One of the hardest parts about online classes in comparison with in person classes is that the professor isn’t getting to see and talk to the students as much, so it can be hard for them to know if students in their class are having trouble keeping up.

If you’re having a lot of trouble and feel yourself getting behind, I would reach out to the professor and just let them know. It is better (and less anxiety inducing) to just communicate with them than to let assignments slip by.

I was a student who didn’t have a whole lot of trouble getting work done and keeping up in classes, but there were still a few times in online classes where I had to email the professor and just be like hi, I’m trying really hard, but I’m really struggling.

Don’t feel bad if you have to do this! Like I said, it’s better to communicate and see if the professor can help you out at all than to just not turn in assignments.

Related: 10 Amazing Reasons To Start Blogging In College

9. Try To Have Assignments Done Ahead Of Time

In a lot of online classes, you can work ahead. I know a lot of people like to take some time early on to work pretty far ahead so they don’t have to worry about the class for a while.

If you’re a person who can do this, it can be pretty convenient! I was never able to cut out a huge chunk of time to work so far ahead. However, I did like to have assignments done at least a couple of days ahead of time so it was out of the way and I could avoid the anxiety of doing the homework last minute.

Also, online class assignments have a way of sneaking up on you. No matter how well I thought I had scheduled out everything due for my online classes, extra assignments that weren’t in the syllabus snuck up on me pretty often (definitely keep your eyes peeled for weekly announcements/ emails from online course professors because I found this happened pretty often in online classes).

If you have most of your work done ahead of time, it will leave you some extra time for those surprise assignments. And if there aren’t any surprise assignments, you have your work done ahead of time, which is always nice!!

10. Take Breaks From The Computer If You Need To

Staring at the computer so often when you are taking online classes can be really exhausting. Take breaks from staring at the screen if you need to! Go outside and sit in the sun for a little while if you can. Humans aren’t meant to be staring at screens 24/7.

Related: Self Care For College Students: Why It’s So Important + 6 Self Care Tips

11. Treat It Like You Would An In-Person Class

This is important especially if your class has a Zoom meeting or online lecture. It can be really tempting to just not go to meetings for online classes and to not read the materials when someone isn’t checking up on you. It’s important to dedicate time to it like you would an in person class if you want to succeed.

12. Check Your Email

Like I said earlier, extra things for online classes have a way of sneaking up on you. To stay as up to date as possible on assignments and due dates, it’s really important to be checking for emails/ class announcements from the professor, because that is where they’ll let you know of any changes.

13. Don’t Underestimate How Much Work They Are

Something a lot of people do when it comes to online classes is underestimating how much work they are. Some online classes ARE easy and don’t require a lot of work. However, some can be really intense and time intensive.

Don’t underestimate how much work your online class is going to be. It really sucks to be panicking on the day assignments are due because you didn’t realize how much work your assignments would actually take.

Related: 9 Life-Changing Hacks for Introverts In College That Will Help You Thrive While Living In A Dorm

14. Set Boundaries

One of my biggest struggles with online classes was setting boundaries. When you’re working on stuff from home, it can be really, really hard to separate homework time from resting time.

I got to the point a few different times in online classes where I just felt like I was working on stuff all the time without any time to rest because I didn’t have any boundaries when it came to how much I was working on stuff at home.

If you’re an overworker and perfectionist like me, boundaries when it comes to your online classes are really important. A couple tips I have for boundaries are to have a dedicated study space where you go to work and nothing else, and to set a timer for how long you’ll let yourself work and be done once it goes off.

This post was all about the best tips for online classes.

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