As the Coronavirus makes it's way to the Midwest, SDSU, like most colleges across the country have taken precautions for student and facility safety by finishing out the rest of the spring semester of classes online. Taking online courses is a different dynamic than face-to-face, and being prepared is ideal in this situation. Online courses give you a lot of flexibility. However, that means taking accountability, and the necessary steps to thrive during this time. Below are some tips on how to stay on top of your online courses.
1. Setting Correct Expectations
Contrary to popular belief, online courses are not a breeze and take just as much if not more academic rigor than traditional face-to-face classes. Usually, online courses take a full-semesters worth of content and offer it in half the time, doubling the workload. Given the current circumstance having an open dialogue with your professors and understanding that adjusting a class schedule from face-to-face to online isn't a simple task. Keeping up with your emails and D2L updates is vital right now. As well as staying focused even with all the ongoing change.
2. Establish a Good Working Environment
Now that the classroom and study spaces we've become accustomed to are no longer available, it's essential to create good working habits but also suitable working spaces. Now that all of your time is outside the classroom, it is necessary to find a quiet place with an acceptable internet connection, access to power, and free from distraction. Ideally, creating a space, you routinely visit while working on course work there, so overtime while there you understand its time to get down to business.
3. Know Your Resources
During this time, the university understands students have a lot of questions about how to move forward. Figuring out as early as possible all the technologies, websites, and in-person resources you may need for your courses moving forward is substantial. Being transparent with your instructors and faculty during this time is also necessary if you're having issues. Understand your resources during this time more by visiting SDSU's Latest Student Q&A during COVID-19.
4. Stay Organized
As with any course before, it's important to stay organized, especially for online courses. Organize all your files in a way that makes the most sense to you. Creating file tags that can be easily found and keeping a copy of anything you submit or write to discussion posts can be best practices. Don't skip out on note-taking while doing your readings or watching online lectures just as you would in any other class.
5. Manage Time Wisely
Maintaining strong time management skills is key to being successful with online courses. Online learning gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of when you do your course work or study, but that doesn't mean you don't need to try just as hard as you would in a face-to-face setting. Scheduling time and frankly enough of it in your calendar to study the materials in your course and complete assignments is essential. Whether that be during your prior scheduled class time or a new time frame you've set for yourself. Treat those blocks of time as seriously as you would in a face-to-face setting by sticking to them, letting your friends and family know you're unavailable during those times, and consistently using your workspace during those times.
6. Keep Up With Your Peers and Instructors
Even with social distancing in order, it's essential to keep up on socialization not only for your academic career but also for your health. Interactions with your peers and your instructor are critical to having a vibrant, engaging experience while we adjust. Getting to understand Zoom and emailing more can be useful tools.
7. Seek Help When Needed
Online learning doesn't need to be an isolating one. During this time, there is a lot of uncertainty, and we're all in it together; that said, if you're struggling to speak up, it will only benefit you. Your instructors are still there to help you, even if they're not in person. Being transparent about your needs and questions during this time is curial for not only your education but well being.