How to Succeed in Online Classes

Hi y’all,

As you know if you read my post about Spilling the Tea, I’m officially a grad student in an online program through the University of Virginia.

I also earned by Teaching License through a hybrid program through Mary Baldwin University. This meant my classes were either completely online or a mixture of in class and online meetings.

This is after graduating from Christopher Newport University, a traditional four year school, that only has in person classes.

For the most part online classes seem to follow the same pattern: weekly reading with an online discussion, which you have to make a minimum of 2 posts in (one where you answer questions and a second where you respond to someone else), with a two or three larger assignments, like papers or assessments. I did have a class that had weekly quizzes as well (but so far only the one).

1. Be organized. Use a planner, keep a spreadsheet of when assignments are due (especially if you’re taking more than one class), color code.

2. Make sure you have time blocked off to do the work. This is one of the biggest things. I often find I can get work done quickly and efficiently, but allow yourself time to do assignments. I also find it super helpful to have the same time chunked off each week. This way, I don’t feel guilty about saying no to something instead of doing classwork, because it is literally like having a set “class time” when you have to be somewhere.

3. Start early, work ahead. I often find I can do readings a head of time and then only have to do the weekly written responses. This also helps if you suddenly have something comes up. This also allows you to ask questions within the time frame. I often find that I might have to wait until the next day

4. Make sure to quote/use the text in discussions. I will say this is probably where I struggle the most in my classes since as a teacher most of my classes are practical and based on experience.

5. Have good note taking skills. This is my second biggest struggle. I was forced to take notes a specific way in high school and it never really worked for me. I ended up sort of learning how to take my own notes, but I sometimes have a hard time picking out the important information without over writing. Teaching note taking to my students has definitely helped, especially as I start to teach them annotation.

What classes are y’all taking?


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