Man studying online learning.

Written by Mike Vaughn

Online learning may seem intimidating at first, but you may find it easier than classroom instruction.  There are advantages to using the tools available to you, like the internet and online resources. But with great power comes great responsibility, so being organized and self-motivated is crucial to your success.  Life gets in the way sometimes, and when it does, we must be prepared to work around it.

Here are some tips to help you succeed in an online classroom:

Set goals

It’s hard to get where you’re going without a destination.  Like most things, education is a journey.  When you enrolled, you had a plan to learn valuable skills and graduate.  This is your destination, and these tips can help you get there.

Approach schoolwork as you would a job

A student’s job is schoolwork, and just as with any other job, you want to do it well.  You want to give it the same kind of effort and focus as you would your regular job.  Even though you don’t get paid for it, it is an investment worth more than the time you put into it.

Use online resources. 

One of the huge advantages of online learning is the vast array of resources at your fingertips that aren’t always in the classroom.  Use every tool to your advantage, and this whole thing will be easier than you thought.

Take breaks and take care of yourself.

Be sure to take breaks occasionally so you don’t get burned out on schoolwork.  Get up and walk around or watch an episode of something before getting back to work.  This will help motivate you and keep you focused.  Also, make sure to get enough sleep and maintain your nutritional levels.  It’s easy to let things slide by the wayside when you’re working under a deadline, but don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Connect with classmates.

Don’t be afraid to connect with your classmates.  They might have questions that you can answer or answers to questions you have.  The dynamics are different, but these are the same people that would be in a classroom with you.  You might find your courses easier by teaming up with other students online and sharing information, quizzing each other, or even using online flashcards.

Ask questions. 

If you don’t know something, or you’re unclear on details, don’t be afraid to ask your instructor.  They want you to succeed as much as you do, so they look forward to answering your questions.

Reward yourself. 

Be proud of your accomplishments.  You got that good grade!  Go ahead and take the night off and have fun.  You really did earn this.

Don’t be intimidated the next time you sign up for an online class. Use these tips to help you stay on track. As with anything, you will really get out of this what you put into it.

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