Tips for How to Succeed in Online Classes – Don’t Forget to Reward Yourself
Argosy University, Online Programs provides the benefit of 24/7 access to virtual classrooms. You can study when you have time, and you have a community of other online students to help you through challenges. But what can you do to keep yourself motivated and moving forward when you’re not in front of the computer? Fastweb’s Madison Sheldrake recently published strategies for succeeding in online courses, and the long and short of it is—you need to stay focused and remember to commend yourself for a job well done.
A quick overview of the article’s tips for taking online classes include:
· Familiarizing yourself with the program and its requirements
- Creating a schedule
- Reward the small successes
- Reading instructions early
- Don’t procrastinate
- Make your textbook your new best friend
- Celebrate your accomplishment
It seems that one of the biggest stumbles an online student can make is to complete background “homework” before class even starts. Take the time to learn about your program and classes and what is expected of you. Practice using the online system—the better you understand it, the more efficient you’ll be when you use it. And review big picture items. Are there any requirements outside of the virtual classroom? Anything you need to complete before the class even starts? Are there long-term projects that you need to start now even though they aren’t due until the end of the semester?
Once you read through the course syllabus, take the time to plot out what is due and when. Plot out times each day when you will study and include them on your calendar. And include times when you give yourself a little “well done” bonus for accomplishing your course goals. This can be something as small as an ice cream sundae, but it will motivate you to do well and stay on track.
The Fastweb article does give one tip that may seem a bit “old school”—using textbooks to help with research. Because some online courses refer directly to a particular class textbook, finding applicable or matching information online can be difficult—or impossible. Information that is contained in one chapter of a class-required textbook may be spread over many online sites. Use your time efficiently and refer to the class textbook when needed.
After you’ve checked off your list of accomplished goals—including not procrastinating on assignments—it’s time for a real treat. Not just ice cream, but something more substantial that truly celebrates the work you’ve done. This reward system not only encourages you now, but can keep you going into the future as you pursue additional classes.