5 Tips for Taking Online Classes

Due to COVID-19, students at the University of Southern Maine will have to resume the rest of the spring semester online. Moving to strictly online classes can be quite an adjustment for many. To ensure that you remain on the path of success, here are some tips for taking online classes.

1. Avoid Distractions

One of the hardest adjustments you will have to make as you transition to online classes is finding ways to stay productive. Since you’re stuck at home, you need to find a place where you can remain focused and get your tasks done. If you don’t have a home office or it’s not available, get work done in your bedroom or a basement. It may take a while before you discover where the best place in your home is, so don’t be afraid to move around at first. Another great way to avoid distractions is to listen to noise-canceling earbuds during lessons and when you are doing homework, studying, or writing papers.

2. Hold Yourself Accountable

Just because you aren’t commuting to your classes, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a routine. If anything, taking online classes means that you need to develop a stronger one. Online classes are more convenient than having to go to class, so there is no reason you should be skipping. Make sure you wake up in time for them, go to your designated workspace, and hold yourself accountable.

3. Don’t Rely on Technology

While many students find that taking notes on a laptop can be easier, you may not retain as much information. Some students might not take any notes at all because lectures are available online. Another tip for taking online classes is to resist the urge to rely on technology and to instead handwrite your notes—it can help to boost your memory.

4. Stay Organized

When you are at home, it’s also important to be as organized as possible. When you do find your ideal workspace, use that area to store all your school supplies so they’re in one space. In addition to the physical space, make sure you color-code your notes and textbooks as well because it’s also known for improving your memory.

5. Actively Participate

A final tip as you make the move to online classes is to still be active in class. Taking classes online doesn’t mean you have an excuse to slack off—if anything, you should be more active. Lectures can be long and tedious when you aren’t invested. Because you are at home, it can be easy to find other things to do, but asking questions and being engaged will not only help you understand the material, but it can also make this crazy time go by a lot more quickly.

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