What Are Tips for Succeeding in an Online College Class?

You, your family, and your school all contribute to your success in an online class. Colleges do not want you to fail your online classes, and most offer suggestions, support services and other resources on their websites. Take advantage of the help that's provided. Most importantly, choose an online program from a reputable, accredited college.

Tips for Succeeding in an Online College Class

You need to be a good reader, enjoy learning visually and be comfortable using online technology. Both you and your environment contribute to succeeding in an online college class.

Important Facts About Studying Online

Degree/Certificate Levels Certificate, associate, bachelor's, graduate
Degree Field(s) of Study Accounting, Business Administration and Management, Computer Science, among many others
Availability As of 2014, 17% of U.S. schools offer online bachelor's degree programs
Prerequisites Vary based on program

Source: U.S. News & World Report

Time Management

As an online college student, your major challenge is time management. To help yourself juggle your courses and your other responsibilities, try these strategies:

  • Set a reserved time for study. Give it the same priority as you'd give to going to work. Colleges suggest allotting approximately 10-12 hours per week per class.
  • Keep your class material together and organized. Don't let other materials get intermixed with your classwork, and keep other people from sorting through it.
  • Lay out your class assignments on a calendar. Most of the work is near the end of term, but you can set yourself earlier deadlines to spread it out.

Motivation

All college students need motivation to succeed. You can help yourself stay involved and motivated with these ideas:

  • Connect with other students. Many online classes offer a space for discussions. Using these spaces can keep you engaged in your coursework by discussing materials with your classmates.
  • Set up a study group if a subject is difficult.
  • Ask questions.

Study Space

You will need a study space that is:

  • Free of distractions (if you can't make one at home, try a coffee shop, a library, even a lounge at work)
  • Available when you need it

How Your Family and Resources Contribute to Success

Your family and friends can be a great help by:

  • Recognizing that you need your study time
  • Picking up more chores, especially at the end-of-semester 'crunch times'
  • Encouraging you

Other Resources

If you are getting a college degree, you will need enough money to pay for all your college classes, plus any fees the school charges. Finally, you will need certain computer technology. The school specifies what you'll need for their courses; it's usually pretty basic.

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