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How to Transition to Online Classes

When your normal education routine involves face-to-face instruction, it can be difficult to make the switch to digital learning. Using these tips to successfully transition to online classes can give you the edge to achieve your goals. 

Whether you are excited for the aspect of more free time and “attending” class in your pajamas or you are nervous about what this new frontier will bring, it’s important to understand that online classes come with their own set of challenges.  Being prepared and ready to tackle whatever comes your way is vital for success. Here are five tips to excel while digital learning.

  • Maintain Your Regular Schedule

Just as you were disciplined to attend class and complete assignments on a regular schedule while attending face-to-face instruction, you are expected to do the same while online. It may be tempting to put off these responsibilities without an instructor to remind you of upcoming tasks. You do have the freedom to incorporate flexibility into your new schedule but you cannot put off responsibilities without consequences.

Hold yourself accountable by creating a weekly schedule, with important due dates for assignments and set time aside to complete these. Set your schedule and stick to it. If you catch yourself slipping, recruit a friend or fellow classmate to check in on you and become your accountability partner. 

Remember you are paying to take this course, you must show up and do the work to get the value out of it. By striving for self-accountability and setting a schedule you can get the best experience out of your online class.

  • Designate a Study Space

Set up space specifically dedicated to online learning and studying. Get in the routine of attending video meetings and completing assignments in this area. Your mind will begin to connect this space with work and it will help you get in the mindset to be productive. Don’t put pressure on yourself to create an immaculate office set-up. This area can be a kitchen table, your couch, a small desk in the corner, whatever works best for you and what encourages your productivity. 

In this area, take appropriate measures to eliminate distractions. It will be tempting to scroll through social media, have Netflix playing in the background, or even work on other tasks during the time you have set aside for education. This may vary in difficulty from person to person but those who overcome and manage temptations are the best online students. Consider turning your phone off, or even just notifications and listening to relaxing music through headphones to drown out distractions. In tough situations, you may want to try to use programs that block websites and apps that hold you back from your educational goals.

  • Participate Within Your Online Classes

Be active in your class video meetings and online forums. Active participants better understand the material and build connections with their classmates and instructors that work in their favor in the future. Ask for clarification during lectures, be there to answer verbal questions that arise, and comment on discussion boards to fully utilize your online class. 

Check-in with your class early and often. Knowing what your instructor expects from you as soon as possible can help you evaluate how you will tackle your class and assignments. Do not put it off and assume nothing happens during online classes. The more you log in, the more opportunities you have to complete assignments and check notifications. 

  • Find Your Study Style

We are all unique in our own ways, there is no exception when it comes to study styles. Allow yourself the flexibility to experiment with how you learn the best. Give yourself appropriate time and measures to understand new concepts. Establishing your study style will allow you to accomplish your best work. 

Your study style can range from time to comfort but can also be broken into visual, auditory, reading/writing, and physical learning. Figure out which category you fall into and change your routine to fit your own needs.

  • Utilize Your Online Courses Resources

Now is the time you will be “surrounded” by resources that were put in place to help you succeed. Feel free and empowered to use these resources! Have an online tutoring session with an instructor, take time to ask every question, participate in online meetings organized by Student Services, and get connected with fellow students.

You can lean into your relationships with your classmates to come out stronger and help each other through online learning. Call each other for help or video chat a study session together. If you need help finding people in your college to connect with, inquire about a digital group such as MedQuest College’s Student of MedQuest Facebook group. Here you can not only find study help but resources that can be utilized in other aspects of life as well.

Due to the transitioning into online classes for students at MedQuest College, Student Services Director, Nina Craig, has created a series of virtual Zoom meetings, “Lemon Squeeze Meetings,” for students to voice concerns, ask questions, and to be involved with their campus community. Students can be on the lookout for email invites to the meeting. If you have any other questions or concerns please reach out to Nina directly through her email: ncraig@medquestcollege.edu

You have made this leap to fulfill your goals so remember why you began this journey and what earning your diploma means to you. Online classes come with their own unique challenges but following this advice and continuously practicing to strive for success can help you get to where you want to be in no time, even when everything is chaotic around you.