Tips for succeeding in online courses

Jayce Kadoun, Staff Reporter

With the majority of classes being held online this quarter, it may be hard for some students to adjust to the learning curve that comes with them. Despite new challenges, students and professors alike have developed their own tips for success in web-based education. 

Many students and staff have previous experiences with virtual classrooms which have helped them develop good habits and methods of excelling in their classes despite the lack of an in-person classroom.

Karlee Manke, a junior majoring in business administration, said despite the course material being a bit more difficult without physical lectures, her experience so far has been good with online classes. She said being online during spring quarter helped her get used to it and see the positives.

“I would say one of the pros to online classes is being able to schedule my own day. That way, I get to decide when class is and when I want to learn the material,” Manke said.

Manke said she encourages fellow students to use the resources the school gives them and that a lot of times, teachers offer Zoom meetings, Zoom study sessions and discussion boards for students with questions that are often helpful. 

Communications Professor Jennifer Green taught entirely online for a year from Spain in 2018 and 2019 and has taught at least two to four classes online most other years. She said she is very comfortable teaching online and finds it can have some advantages.  

“Online learning can be very self-directed, so students who like to work independently, at their own pace or who have full-time jobs, small children or distant locations all seem to really appreciate online classes,” Green said.

Green said she prefers to teach online classes for some material and in-person classes for others. She said classes with a lot of lively discussion and those that involve a lot of writing work better in person and that some skills-acquisition classes can work just as well online.

As far as tips for those looking to succeed in online classes, Green said we all have to go easy on ourselves this year.

“It’s been such an unusual and difficult time. I’d tell people to take it day by day, do the best they can and try to see the benefits of working online. I’d also recommend to students that they not hesitate to ask questions or request clarification if they need it,” Green said.

Senior business management major Austin Hood said although he prefers in-person learning because it is easier to understand material and get instant feedback if he has questions, he likes class online because it is easier for him to schedule time around his job to work on school.

“One of the cons of online class for me is not being on campus and getting the full college experience in general … I miss being able to see my friends and feeling like I’m going to an actual college,” Hood said.

Hood said his best tip for success in online class this quarter would be to not let the homework stack up. He said it can be easy to put homework off with online learning, but it is much easier to stay on top of things than to fall behind and have to get grades back up.