Dan Naylor ProfileDan Naylor

When you are taking online classes, the responsibility is on you to be successful. Here are a few tips to get the most out of online classes.

First, make sure you schedule your time so that you make steady progress through the course. You can fit it in around you schedule, but don’t wait, and put things off until the end of the month, and then try to get a lot of hours in. Schedule yourself for one or two hours a day, or for six to eight hours a week, so that you are continually moving forward in the course. If you have the time scheduled beforehand, it’s easier to sit down and get it done, and avoid procrastinating.

Second, be engaged. Start by removing distractions. Close any other windows on your computer. Silence your phone. Make sure you are able to put your full attention on the course for your scheduled time. Phone calls can wait. Texts can wait. You can answer those things after your study time is complete. Make it a hands on experience. As you are watching the class, take notes of all the information that you believe is important. The simple act of writing something down, or typing it out into a list will help you remember those details. Putting your hands to work stimulates your learning, and helps you to recall more easily the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course. After each section, review your notes, and see if there’s anything you don’t understand very well, and if so, review the class to see what you missed.

Third, use more than one medium to study. If you are watching online classes on your computer or mobile device, look for other study materials provided, like a textbook in PDF. After you complete a class, go and review the same chapter in the textbook and see how the concepts are taught differently. Refer to your notes, and find the same information in the textbook. Seeing it written a different way, or using different examples will help make the information relevant to you. If you know that you learn better with a printed textbook, then order one, and take notes, and highlight the book to put emphasis on the information that you will need to remember.

Finally, don’t feel like you are alone. Taking an online class is extremely convenient because you can move at your own pace, and review often. But if there is something that you just don’t understand, reach out to your instructor by phone or email, or even schedule a time to go and sit down face to face to review those parts of the class that you feel like you want a better understanding of. You can gain a lot of confidence by having your knowledge validated, and by having someone explain to you the concepts that aren’t immediately clear.

Education is for you, so make sure that you use all the resources available to you, to get the best learning experience, and to elevate yourself to the next level of success.