Online classes and distance learning

Natalie Gillenwater, sophomore in music education, is currently taking Psychology 230 online through Iowa State. She uses a textbook and often has to watch lecture videos online before she takes quizzes over the material she learns.

Five tips to succeed in an online class:

1. Stay organized

Take note early about when assignments are due and set aside specific times during the week to stay updated on coursework as if it were a traditional class.

“Even though there isn’t a scheduled class time to attend, there are still due dates,” said Megan Behr, senior in culinary science. “Find a time that works within your schedule to focus on your online lectures and assignments.”

2: Don’t procrastinate

Time management skills can be one of the more challenging aspects of taking online classes, but it is crucial to stay caught up with assignments on a regular basis in order to do well.

“It’s really easy to put off everything to the last minute, but depending on the difficulty of the class, you can’t procrastinate,” said Melissa Garrett, senior in English and journalism.

3: Be self-motivated

Succeeding in an online class requires commitment and self-discipline.

“When you get out into the real world, deadlines do not wait,” said Connor Nystrom, senior in marketing. “Being a student helps you prepare for those real-world experiences.”

4: Set individual goals

Certain learning goals are tailored to online learning. If having more free time is a priority, set individual goals to help achieve that.

“My professor had set deadlines for assignments throughout the summer, but I always tried to work ahead,” said Kara Bader, senior in music.

5: Connect with instructors

Instructors want to make their online courses engaging and beneficial, and they value meeting and interacting with their online students.

“You see my face, but I never get to see you guys,” said Raluca Cozma, assistant professor at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. “I want to get to know students as people rather than just consumers of something I put online.”

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