Because I live a thirty minute long drive away from the college I go to, I have taken a lot of online classes to limit my trips down there. I have found from the several online courses I have taken that I am not particularly too fond of them, and that I prefer learning in a traditional classroom. In general, online classes seem to be less engaging than the traditional class, and are also harder to keep yourself motivated in. However, I found throughout my online class taking experience some useful tips to get through them without too much pain.

Do not read lectures on your computer screen

The main reason I do this, is because if I read the lecture for my class on my computer, I am going to get bored in 45 seconds and go explore the wonders of the internet instead. Also, reading a lot of material on a computer screen can be hard on the eyes, especially when your professor has written out a 10,000 word lecture on sediment flow rate. So, the solution to this is to simply print out your lecture, or put a PDF of it on your E-reader.

Email the professor

I am usually a little hesitant when emailing my professors, especially about small problems, or not too important questions. However, one cannot have that approach when taking an online class because emailing the teacher is just like asking a question in class. If you have a quick question, just email the professor and ask, because that’s what they expect.

Do not procrastinate

You shouldn’t procrastinate for any class, but you especially do not want to for your online classes. The reason for this is because it is very easy to do so. If you’re not physically going to the class every other day like in a traditional course, you tend to forget you even have the class. So, it’s important to know when assignments are, and then get them done on time.

Make the class your browser’s “home page”

Why not? This will help you remember you have the class to begin with. I’m sure every college student uses their internet browser everyday anyway, so if you set the class’s site to your homepage, you will see it often, and help you not procrastinate doing the work.

Know the syllabus

In online classes the syllabus will not be repeated frequently by the teacher, because they simply do not get to talk to the class that much. Because of this, it is important to remember what is expected of you, what reading needs to be done by when, when your tests and essays are due, etc.


If you’re interested in taking your studies online, check out Hack College’s School Finder!

Have any tips for taking online classes? Tell us in the comments.