Guide to doing well in Online Classes

Taking online classes is becoming very common and more students are now going to school online but some of us struggle with doing well in online classes for many reasons but one of the biggest reason is because we don’t know what to expect and when school starts, all of a sudden we’re overwhelmed. That’s not a very good feeling but no worries, as an online class veteran, I have some advice.

Read the Syllabus

Clearly as a student, we must know what the professor is expecting from us and if we don’t read the syllabus, you could lose a lot of points on assignments that may be so simple but it lacked formatting that was mentioned in the syllabus. There are some professors that are flexible on the first assignment but don’t bet on it. Read the syllabus, learn how the professor prefers to be reached and outline all your assignments if provided in the syllabus.

Participate in Discussion

Many online courses have discussion online and they may account for 20-40 percent of your grade. If participation is a large percentage, you are expected to follow instructions. Formatting would be also listed in the syllabus if it is expected. Some teachers don’t have a particular formatting requirement for discussion but they do expect you to include things like references, personal opinion, experience, and interactive answers. Once again, refer to your syllabus for expectations within discussion. Most likely, the information is there.

Ask Questions

Clearly when we are students, we are not expected to know or understand everything we’re learning or reading about so ask questions. Most likely, your questions will be something that somebody else has wondered but didn’t ask. Not asking questions, you could lose points on something or even make a big mistake on a test. Questions are important and ask them especially if you want to do well. When in doubt, ask!

Get Organized

Not everybody has the same way of getting organized but being organized and knowing when things are due is critical. No teacher is going to sit there and tell you when something is due and don’t expect to be babied. Online classes means that you have some initiative and are independent enough to learn on your own so they expect you know yourself well enough to be organized. Work smart and play smart. Having a list of assignments and when they’re due works wonders because then you don’t fall behind or work on assignments that aren’t due until later and forget assignments that are due now.


Sometimes we have issues or problems that prevent us from participating or doing something particular for the class. Tell the teacher the first day of class especially if the class requires a microphone and you can’t hear or speak. Points will be taken off during the quarter for lack of participation and teachers sympathize at the beginning not at the halfway point. We expect them to communicate what’s required of us, we should do the same for them when we are unable to meet a requirement. This includes the inability to complete work on time because of a personal emergency. Email them, call them, and talk to them about it. They are fully aware that things happen but they’re not mind readers.