6 Tips for Students Taking Online Classes in the Fall

By Annabella Feeny

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, many universities and colleges across Canada have chosen to cancel in-person classes in favour of remote learning. Whether this is your first time taking online classes or you are simply looking to strengthen your current habits and studying techniques, our 6 tips can help to ensure that you have a successful semester wherever you are. 


1. Create a Schedule

Stay organized by printing out your syllabi and writing down when you have any assignments, quizzes, and tests due. A planner or online organizing platform such as Notion or Evernote can be invaluable in helping you keep track of your due dates and stay on top of your work. 


2.  Outline your Goals in Writing

It is important to ask yourself, what do you want to achieve in your course? Perhaps your motivation stems from wanting to improve your GPA, get into your co-op program, or even be a better student. Whatever your goals may be, write everything down and tack them in a spot like your bathroom mirror or office space where you’ll be reminded of them every day. Reminders can enhance your progress. 


3. Establish a Study Space

While many of us may not have the privilege to have a designated office for studying, establishing a space that is free from distractions and noise is imperative to your online learning. This may inevitably mean going to a coffee shop, turning off your cellphone, or putting on your headphones to help you focus as you work on your course.


4. Attend Office Hours and Participate in Online Discussions

Get to know your profs! Ask questions and participate as much as you can. Make a conscious effort to connect with your professors because they may be able to shed some insight on how you can succeed in the course. 


5. Take Breaks

Take frequent, short breaks of 5 or 10 minutes throughout your studying to avoid cognitive overload. This can be achieved by setting a timer for 30 minutes to work on a task, taking a break, and then setting another timer. 


6. Be Mindful of your Progress

Set strict guidelines for assignments and exams. If you have an exam on Monday, do not wait to study until Sunday night. This can create unnecessary stress and anxiety. Instead, begin revising a week ahead of time to ensure that you are able to effectively review your notes and identify gaps in your knowledge.



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