Tips for Taking an Online Class

The last few months, I've really hopped on board the online education train. It's been really cool to learn the basics of hand-lettering, graphic design, and even poetry. If there's a skill you want to learn, there's probably a video of someone teaching it. Here are some of my best tips for making the most of it:

Best Tips for Online Classes
Best Tips for Online Classes

1. Schedule your classes: With online classes, there's no structure and nobody guiding you. To make sure your class is a success, make sure to schedule your class, quiz, and project time the same way you would with an in-person class. (The deadlines are just as real, online!) Personally, I use Gcal to remind myself of big deadlines, and use my daily agenda to mark out how much of a course I want to finish.

2. Single-attention (rather than single-task): It can be a lot to ask to get completely uninterrupted time for a class. Instead, try to think about times when you can fully focus your attention on your class. Maybe you could listen to that 1920's art history lecture as you put on your makeup, or chop up vegetables. (Coursera has an amazing mobile app!) If you have a computer-intensive class, make sure you only are working on your class during that time.

3. Write down a statement of motivation at the beginning: What do you want to learn from this class? Why is this skill or class important for you to learn now? Think of this whenever you feel like giving up.

4. Change the timing: I only learned this after playing around with the settings in an online course...basically, any online course with video lectures will have an option to either slow the lecture (.5, .75 speeds) or speed it up (1.25, 1.5). If it's introductory material or a concept I already pretty much know, I make sure to speed up the lecture. If it's something I've never encountered, I have no shame in making...the...class...super...slow...so I can catch everything! Every minute counts, and I think psychologically this helps the material sink in better than just rewinding over and over.

5. Don't get discouraged if you fall behind. Things come up, and you can't expect that everything will work out as perfectly as you planned. Instead, do your best and learn the most you can.

Good luck! Tell me what class you are taking, below!


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