Tips for Participating in Online Classes

Online classes have both positive and negative factors and both should be considered before deciding if attending school online is the right choice for the individual. The convenience of online classes is wonderful, but the amount of work given in such a condensed time frame can be overwhelming. Once a student decides to take online classes, there are things that can be done so that the he or she can get the most out of the experience. Below are the guidelines based on the rules of University of Phoenix Online, however they are tips that can make online learning in any school an easier process.


It is very important to stay organized and always keep track of what assignments are due when. Since the classes are often condensed in to a shorter time frame, it is important to read the syllabus immediately to find out what assignments are due and when they are due. Continue to refer back to the syllabus as a constant reminder of assignment deadlines and what the instructor expects from the students. Although each instructor has a specific syllabus format to follow, they all have different individual requirements about due dates, participation, and formatting of assignments. Remember to read the syllabus in full and do not assume anything.

Be aware of participation and attendance requirements

Each class will have specific attendance and participation requirements, and even though the school may have a specific policy, be sure to stay aware of any changes made by the instructor. It is important to keep in mind that although the student doesn’t have to report to a real classroom every day, it is still their responsibility to show up to the virtual classroom per the schedule set forth by the instructor. Online classes are not student paced, they are instructor paced. If the student does not meet participation and attendance requirements, they may risk having points deducted each week that will have an effect on final grades.

Keeping track of participation will help to stay organized and insure that the student is meeting the requirements. It will also cause less stress to do as much as possible early in the week. Make sure to post to the classroom more than required, so that if something comes up during the week that is unexpected and the student can’t participate on a certain day or days, the requirements have already been met. Always, always plan ahead, as one never knows what might come up mid week that can cause problems.

Keep communication lines open with the instructor and other students

As there is no face to face interaction with instructors, one might feel intimidated to ask questions or discuss issues. However, the same rules apply to online classes as to regular classes when it comes to communication. The more open the student is and the more willing he/she is to discuss things with the instructor and fellow classmates, the easier things will be. Never be afraid to ask questions about things that are not understood. Additionally, if there are scheduling conflicts or trouble getting an assignment in on time, the more leeway will be given if the instructor is made aware of the issues ahead of time.

Lastly, make sure that any technical equipment, including computers, printers, modems, and wireless routers are working, especially on days assignments are due. Just as teachers never accepted the “the dog ate my homework” excuse, they are also not likely to accept the “I lost my connection two minutes before the assignment was due” excuse. If technical problems are encountered, be sure to contact tech support immediately and email the instructor as soon as possible to make him/her aware of the situation.

University of Phoenix has specific ways of conducting online classes but the basic principals, if followed, will help the student in any online environment. Organization, participation, and communication are the key to success in any learning environment and will make the online learning experience a much better one of if these tips are followed.