How to Excel in Online Courses

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Virtual learning was gaining popularity long before the pandemic forced most students to do their schooling online in March 2020. Students worldwide are finding that the flexibility and autonomy that virtual school provides can have a significantly positive impact on their education. 

Like with in-person school, virtual school comes with its own set of challenges and benefits. Learning is not one-size-fits-all, and some students may find that virtual school simply doesn’t work for them. For those who have found that they prefer the virtual, asynchronous learning style that online school gives, here are some tips that can help you excel in your online courses. 

Practice Time Management

One of the greatest benefits of virtual school is the flexibility that it gives students. With no set class times, firm assignment deadlines, or limited access to course material, students can complete their work whenever they have the time. Although this is a great benefit, it can also become a problem for students with poor time management. Let’s say, for example, you’re taking MHF4U Advanced functions online, and you find the material to be really challenging. In that case, you may put off doing the work until the last minute because you don’t want to deal with it. But, when you try to cram everything in before the final exam, it’s going to be much harder to do well. 

Developing strong time management skills helps students excel in their online courses by giving them the discipline needed to balance out the extra freedom and flexibility. 

Create a Workspace

Evidentially, virtual school removes the need to commute to a set location each day to attend school. While this can help students save time and money, it can also make it hard for them to find structure in their day. When you’re doing class at home, the temptation to lie in bed as you take your notes or watch a lecture can be very strong. Not having a clear divide between where you work and where you relax can make it harder to concentrate during school time and harder to turn off your brain during relaxation time.

Creating a designated workspace within your home can be beneficial for reinstating the sense of structure that going to a physical school gives. Not everyone has the space to set up an entire room as their personal office and that is totally ok. Your workspace could be your kitchen table, the coffee table in your living room, or a desk in your bedroom. Any space you can make for yourself as a designated workspace can help give you structure and excel in your courses. 

Utilize Your Resources

Just because there is no physical teacher in front of you when attending virtual school doesn’t mean there are no resources available. Each school and course may differ slightly; however, students will likely have access to their teacher during set office hours or by appointment. Other resources available may include a class list so you can reach out to your classmates for support or counselling and career advising services.

Utilizing the resources available can help students excel in their courses as they can get answers to any questions they may have or seek advice on which courses to take. While most of the work in virtual school is done independently, students are certainly not alone in their education. 

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