Resources for Online Learning



Time Management: Part 1

Time Management: Part 2

Study Skills


Tips for Rocking Online Classes 

Here are some tips for helping you navigate online classes:

Tip #1: Stay Focused 

It’s easy to lose focus when you aren’t face-to-face with professors, but it is important that you do so in an online setting. Remember your motivation for staying on top of your coursework. Make sure that you login for classes early and are prepared to focus just as you would for a face-to-face class. If your classes become asynchronous, be sure to schedule a time that you plan to focus on each specific class and don’t let anything distract you before or during that scheduled time. Be disciplined in engaging with the online content during your scheduled time. You should be logging as much time online as you would be spending in class if the course was still being delivered face-to-face, so don’t let yourself slack off just because things went digital.

Tip #2: Stay Organized 

This is true for all of your courses, but is particularly vital for balancing multiple online courses. If you don’t already, create digital file folders for each of your online classes and keep all of your materials…syllabus, videos, resources, and assignments…in a designated folder. Bonus points for having these materials backed up to a cloud. Make sure that you are staying ahead of things as much as possible to avoid falling behind. For some of you, that might mean creating to-do lists or putting things in your planner or digital calendar with reminders. Also, be sure to check your e-mail every day. EVERY DAY!

Tip #3: Ask for Feedback 

As you complete assignments and progress through the class, don’t assume everything is going well. Some professors are better than others about posting grades digitally, but you should always have a feel for where you stand, whether or not your latest grades are posted. If you don’t know your grade in the class and you have a concern, e-mail your professor or set up a time to have a Zoom meeting to discuss your concerns as you would do during face-to-face office hour visits. If you know your grade, but aren’t sure why you earned what you earned, ask your professor to provide you with feedback or, again, set up a time to do a Zoom meeting during regular office hours to get more information/insight into what happened with a specific assignment or exam.

Tip #4: Be Collaborative 

You probably already know at least some of your classmates by this point, but don’t feel like moving online (and being in isolation or quarantine) means that you should cut off all contact with people in your class. In a time of social distancing, we are fortunate to have a myriad of digital mechanisms for staying connected. Work collaboratively using your preferred device to stay in touch with those you are doing group projects or studying with. Set up digital meetings for discussing assignments or hosting study sessions. Use discussion boards on D2L to help you continue the conversations outside of class about relevant topics or to troubleshoot issues. Bonus points if you’re posting and your professors are able to chime in on the conversations to help clarify issues.

Tip #5: Resist the Temptation to Cheat 

None of us wants to be labeled as “that student”, so don’t be. Remember that you are only going to get out of your courses what you put into them, so don’t cheat yourself by cheating on assignments, quizzes, exams, etc. While some mechanisms are designed to prevent cheating in online courses, not all classes have these accountability mechanisms in place, especially when professors are scrambling to move face-to-face content into a digital form. Have the integrity to be honest and to put in the time/work to do the right thing, even when you could get away with the wrong thing. If you are caught plagiarizing, cheating on an exam, or otherwise engaging in academic dishonesty in one of your online courses, this will be taken just as seriously as if you were doing so face-to-face and the consequences will be just as severe (e.g. loss of points, removal from the class without a refund, reporting to administration, etc.), so just make a promise to yourself not to do anything dishonest.

Tip #6: Work to Find Balance 

In these difficult and rapidly-changing times, it can be easy to get off-kilter or feel unsettled. Do your best to balance your time between logging in to attend classes and/or check content and submit assignments or take exams with studying for your classes and taking care of yourself. Try to eat well so that you have a good source of fuel for pushing forward with your classes. Don’t let yourself spend all day in front of the computer…be sure to walk away, stretch, work-out, or go play something to keep your physical and mental health from deteriorating. Give yourself permission to engage in stress-relief activities and hobbies between other responsibilities. Ask for help in learning how to balance these things as needed. You can seek advice from your professors/advisors, mentors, or professional counselors. Our counseling office will be offering telehealth services, so don’t hesitate to call if you need some assistance in navigating all of these sudden changes to your daily routine.