5 Effective Tips to Prepare Students for Online Classes

Lizzie Ottenstein
Shreejana Mainali
Wooden blocks with letters showing the word plan.

Adjusting to a new learning style can be a challenge, especially if you’re unprepared and don’t know how and where to start. It’s common to panic but luckily there are few tips that can help you best prepare and adapt quickly to virtual learning.

Follow these 5 tips to start your seamless online learning journey. 

➜ 1. Assess readiness

Virtual classes are just as similar and important as onsite classes but require additional skills. Assess your readiness by evaluating areas such as technology skills, study habits, learning style, time management skills, connectivity, motivation, and support services. If you have enough computer and internet skills but lack study habits, develop them. 

If you are a dependent learner, you’re bound to feel unprepared and lost. Be a self-directed learner by taking initiative. Find any course of interest and start learning.  Identify the resources you need and formulate learning goals. Make sure you have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection at home.

➜ 2. Identify your learning style

Every student has a unique learning style with which they learn best. Out of the four primary types of learners, i.e. visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic, find out yours. If you remember facts and information best viewing pictures, graphs, and infographics, you can best visualize ideas and learn from them. Since most learning these days will be online, it’s best you identify and improvise your learning style either by watching videos, reading an e-book, printing out infographics, or doing a project. Knowing your learning style boosts self-confidence, saves time, and makes the process more fun. 

➜ 3. Create a consistent schedule 

Create a workable study schedule with reference to syllabi, assignments, exam dates, and credit hours. Make a weekly or daily planner and break down big tasks into simple ones. It will be helpful to design a specific weekly timeline (including hours for each course) to study and finish assignments according to your priorities. Since online learning is mostly self-directed, be willing to add 5 to 15 hours per week per course on your schedule and stick to it. Stay updated with your school’s schedules and announcements to make quick and manageable adjustments as required.

➜ 4. Develop time management skills

Online learning comes with a lot of flexibility but you should not take the flexibility and timing for granted. Make a habit of checking deadlines regularly and submit papers on time. If managing time is a challenge for you, identify your distractions. Keep those distractions aside when studying. Avoid multitasking and try the Pomodoro technique for effective time management. Take 25 minutes to work and a 5 minute break. If you complete 4 study sessions without interruption, treat yourself with a 15 minute break. 

Read more about time management tips here!

➜ 5. Prepare for online tests

Online tests are tough for students who don’t have any experience with it. Start by carefully reading all the guidelines and instructions of the test-taking procedures, as that’s where most students fail. Know the test format to craft a strategy. Manage time by taking practice tests or quizzes online. Analyze your strong points and weak points. You can also ask for feedback and recommendations from your instructor. If you spend a lot of time on one question, break the habit by setting fixed timers for every question. Also, improve your typing, grammar, and vocabulary skills for essay based tests. Always study and revise course notes and lectures. 

One can succeed in online learning when well prepared, focused, and motivated. Remember that you can always ask for help and guidance from parents and instructors. Make time to relax your mind to avoid unwanted stress. Being prepared is getting prepared to succeed.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on time management for online learning!