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What Are the Best Tips for Taking Classes Online?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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As an alternative to on-site classes at a college or university, taking classes online has become a common educational pursuit for students looking for a more flexible schedule or a reduced commute. While this is certainly a viable option, taking classes online will require some preparation and dedication. The student will need to develop good working habits and stick to them, as online classes require more self-directed learning and offer less direct guidance from instructors. The student can work on coursework at his or her own pace for some classes, but the student will need to be dedicated to logging into the class interface every day to participate in discussion and stay current on topics.

Before the classes begin, the student should take time to familiarize himself with the class learning platform. Taking classes online means the student will need to have an adequate Internet connection as well as the basic skills necessary to operate a computer; if the student does not have such access or skills, taking classes online will not be a viable option. If the student is prepared, he or she can usually log into the course learning platform before the class officially begins to learn how to navigate coursework and interact with instructors as well as other students.

Interacting with others is one of the most important aspects of taking classes online. Some instructors will require the students to interact with one another on a regular basis, but even if this is not a requirement, interacting with other students may help clarify topics, develop thoughts more thoroughly, or generally ease the burden of self-directed learning. Forums are usually set up within the learning platform, and the student should make an effort to find the most appropriate threads for the topics he or she needs to discuss.

Reading off a computer screen can be difficult and tiring, so it sometimes helps to print crucial documents when taking classes online. Keeping a physical folder in which these printed documents can be stored is a good idea as well; this will help keep documents organized for quick access. When it comes time to write papers for assignments, it is important to create back-up documents in the event of computer failure; never simply write an assignment within the learning platform. Instead, write the paper in a computer program that will allow the document to be saved regularly throughout the typing process. This will help prevent loss of information should the computer or Internet connection fail for any reason.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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