Getting ahead over the summer is great, but it’s easy to lose focus while taking an online summer class. For some, taking online classes during a regular semester is too much. Being aimed with great ways to stay productive, motivation, and good internet is essential.
What’s Your Starting Point?
It’s important to know how dedicated you are to getting a good grade in your class. It’s easy to say that you’ll stay focused, but reality can hit you hard.
First, you should know why you want to do an online summer class. For me, I’ve been motivated by the convenience of doing the class in my own home and wanted to graduate by the end of 2018. In contrast, you may really want to take a certain class or you need the college credits immediately. In all, just know your motivation.
See how much time and resources this class may take. If you haven’t taken the professor before, it’s hard to gauge his/her teaching style and class difficulty. To overcome this, you should ask if anyone you know has taken the professor and check out ratemyprofessor.com.
Review Your Syllabus
There’s a good chance that the syllabus might be available a few days before the class starts. Be on the lookout a few days before your class begins. Once you have the syllabus, find out when major assignments and projects are due.
One of the biggest hurdles students face when taking online classes during the summer is the back to back assignments. The professor is trying to fit a semester worth of information in a month, so the pace becomes super fast. Taking an educated guess on how long it’ll take you to do certain assignments can help you plan ahead.
One of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to online classes is remembering the deadlines. I’ve discovered that writing down dates in my planner and putting reminders on my phone help.
Pick the Right Environment
The studying/working spot you have during the school year may not be ideal during the summer. Some students go back home for the summer and find it too distracting to study. Even though I’m a commuter student, I find that I have less time to myself during the summer.
With this in mind, think about what type of spots help you be productive. Some prefer a quiet area while others need noise to get work done. Knowing which devices you work best on also help you set-up the right environment. Recently, I bought I keyboard for my tablet. If I need to write, I use my tablet while I want to work on tests and quizzes on my laptop.
Make Your Schedule
Focus will help you pass your class! Creating a schedule is the way to go. Your schedule can be rigid or flexible. If you work better with a set schedule, I recommend a planner.
If you want more flexibility, you can have a vague idea of when you plan to work. I love a flexible schedule. I choose to work in the late afternoon and weekends.
Everything seems like it’s going well until it’s not. Before you get to the point of no return, you should take some time to review how well you’re doing. I recommend reviewing how you’re doing at least once a week. For the first week, you should review twice. This makes you self-aware.
Secondly, you might want to consider creating criteria based on your goals. For example, you might want to finish minor assignments earlier, so you have more time to dedicate to the harder projects. This is especially true if you’re dealing with group projects. If that’s case, then you could have finishing up minor assignments a day before their due as a criterion.
Bring it all together
Doing well in an online summer class can be difficult if you don’t prepare. The first is being real with yourself and knowing if its a class you can do well in. Some classes are better suited for in-person than online and know what’s required of you. Next, find the perfect spot to work and create a schedule. Finally, review how well you’re doing.
Have you taken an online summer class?