You’re probably aware by now: As classes resume, all your courses are being offered online through eCampus. As a reminder, check out who to contact for every college service you can think of.
Now, it’s time to change your mindset from being a traditional student into being an online student – at least for a little while. There are, of course, plenty of advantages to online learning: You don’t have to worry about travel, you can eat whatever you want during class, and you can show up in your pajamas without fear of judgment. Wear whatever you want to class — who cares?
That said, you will need to prepare yourself. It’s a little different from physically being in a classroom with other students and an instructor. Here’s how you can (and will!) be successful in your courses.
Tips for Online Success
- Be accountable. To be clear, your professors are there for you. They will make themselves available for you to ask questions if there is something you’re unsure about. However, you will not have someone constantly reminding you of due dates or when you have a test. That’s your responsibility. Mark those dates on your calendar. Make a friend in one of your classmates and hold each other accountable. Do whatever possible to make sure those dates are ingrained in your brain.
- Manage your time. Please plan ahead! Part of holding yourself accountable is not waiting until the last minute to write a paper or complete a project. The dates on your original syllabus are probably wrong now. So, when you start class again, look at your new syllabus immediately. Plan out how much time you’ll need for every single assignment. Think about any commitments outside of school and how those fit in with your studies.
- Back up your work. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you’ve worked very hard on an assignment, you’re finishing it up and – boom – it’s gone. The power goes out, or your laptop freezes or Word freezes. And you hadn’t saved the latest version. And then you’ve got to do it all over again. That’s not much fun! So, please save your work.
- Get rid of distractions. You know what that means, right? Yes, it’s time to talk about the phone. When you’re in class or you’re working on an assignment, you don’t have time to scroll through memes for an hour. So put your phone on the other side of the room (or in another room altogether), finish your work and then laugh at memes for the rest of the day.
- Be an active participant in class. That may mean everything from participating in discussion board questions and providing feedback for classmates to participating in lectures and engaging with your professor. Trust us, it will make you a better student and make the material more manageable for you. Ask as many questions as you can. Remember, if you aren’t sure about something, some of your classmates are probably unsure, as well.
So, things are going to be a little weird for a bit. There’s going to be an adjustment period. But you’re not alone. Contact your instructors or your advisor with any questions. It’s a weird time for all of us, and you have a community of people ready and willing to support you.