What do you need to succeed in your online college courses? If this is your first experiences with cyber classes, take a look at the simple steps and planning tools that can help you to ace your online academics.
Use a Calendar
Make or buy an over-sized paper or white board calendar to hang on your bedroom, office, or study room wall. Even though you may live your daily life on your smart phone, your cell's calendar isn't always the most reliable method to keep your online education on track. If you accidentally turn the sounds/alarms off, lose your phone, or delete a calendar app, you're left without a schedule.
Instead of an app, write out a calendar and place it on a wall you will easily see. Assign each course a color and highlight exams, assignments, or other special school activities. Consult the calendar daily to stay on top of your school work and class schedule.
Pretend You're in an In-Person Class
Treat all your college-level classes alike — whether they're online or in-person. While it's tempting to put off online classwork or only pay partial attention to a recorded lecture, your cyber classes need (and deserve) your full attention. Think of each online class as an in-person class.
If you wouldn't walk out in the middle of a professor's IRL lecture, don't turn your computer off 15 minutes into the taped version. The more you treat online options like in-person classes, the harder you'll work. This work will show in what you learn and the grades you earn.
Set Up a Serious Study Space
Your bed, the living room recliner, or the family room floor aren't ideal study areas for college students. Before you start cyber class, design and set up a suitable study space. You'll need a desk, comfortable chair, and other school-related furniture (such as book shelves).
Select a chair that provides the best support for your back and neck and adjusts for your height. According to the Mayo Clinic, the human head exerts almost 50 pounds of pressure on the neck. If your chair-desk combo forces you to constantly look down to read your laptop, the added pressure could cause a serious neck or upper back strain.
Along with the physical issues involved in your study space set up, consider the noise level. Choose a room with a door or an area that you can easily keep quiet.