Many students may sign up to take courses at online colleges thinking of the flexibility of the opportunity while giving little thought to the challenges presented. Attending classes at online career schools may initially seem as though it might be easier than going to class in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom, but this is not the case. Online classes are not better or worse than traditional classes, but they are different.

Students attending online classes will need to be prepared for the amount of self-discipline and independent learning that studying for a degree online requires. Some instructors are more active and communicative than others in online classes, but no matter how much an instructor participates in an online class, a student will still need to stay motivated in order to keep up. Without regular class meetings, it’s easy to think an assignment or required selection of reading can be put off for a little bit longer or to delay class work until the end of the week. It’s easy to fall behind in online classes, however, and putting something off for just a little bit can often result in falling so far behind that the student is unable to catch up.

There are a number of strategies students can use to ensure that their online college experience is a successful one. Planning ahead is important. When the term begins, the student should look over the entire schedule and note when important assignments are due and put them into a calendar. Next, students should look at other obligations such as work and family and consider how they can fit school around those obligations. At the start of each week, students should again look over their assignments and attempt to estimate how long each assignment will take to complete. They should plan where in their week these assignments will fit in.

Another way to ensure success in online classes is to stay in touch with the instructor. Students should try to find out answers on their own and shouldn’t pepper the instructor with incessant emails, but they also should not hesitate to ask questions as needed and communicate with the instructor regularly. Email exchanges with the instructor should be respectful and students should use proper grammar and spelling as opposed to text speak and informal abbreviations. An instructor who gets to “know” a student through email will be more likely to consider student requests such as writing recommendations or raising a score that is on the border between two letter grades.

Taking classes online presents some unique challenges, but conscientious, organized students can be very successful.

Many students may sign up to take courses at online colleges thinking of the flexibility of the opportunity while giving little thought to the challenges presented. Attending classes at online career schools may initially seem as though it might be easier than going to class in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom, but this is not the case. Online classes are not better or worse than traditional classes, but they are different.

Students attending online classes will need to be prepared for the amount of self-discipline and independent learning that studying for a degree online requires. Some instructors are more active and communicative than others in online classes, but no matter how much an instructor participates in an online class, a student will still need to stay motivated in order to keep up. Without regular class meetings, it’s easy to think an assignment or required selection of reading can be put off for a little bit longer or to delay class work until the end of the week. It’s easy to fall behind in online classes, however, and putting something off for just a little bit can often result in falling so far behind that the student is unable to catch up.

There are a number of strategies students can use to ensure that their online college experience is a successful one. Planning ahead is important. When the term begins, the student should look over the entire schedule and note when important assignments are due and put them into a calendar. Next, students should look at other obligations such as work and family and consider how they can fit school around those obligations. At the start of each week, students should again look over their assignments and attempt to estimate how long each assignment will take to complete. They should plan where in their week these assignments will fit in.

Another way to ensure success in online classes is to stay in touch with the instructor. Students should try to find out answers on their own and shouldn’t pepper the instructor with incessant emails, but they also should not hesitate to ask questions as needed and communicate with the instructor regularly. Email exchanges with the instructor should be respectful and students should use proper grammar and spelling as opposed to text speak and informal abbreviations. An instructor who gets to “know” a student through email will be more likely to consider student requests such as writing recommendations or raising a score that is on the border between two letter grades.

Taking classes online presents some unique challenges, but conscientious, organized students can be very successful.