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Thriving in a Virtual Course

7 Tips to Thriving in a Virtual Course 

Transitioning to a fully online quarter brings its challenges, from being at home all the time, time management for all projects and classes, and trying to balance the responsibility of succeeding in an online environment. 

This might seem like a daunting task to begin with, but it is not impossible to complete. Here are some of the best tricks and tips you can use to help stay on task and with your classes, balancing homelife, and succeeding in your online classes. 


Professor in science classroom holding a book and smiling.


  1. Get To Know your Professor


Getting to know your professor sounds a little intimidating, but it is something that you will benefit from. Not all professors’ teaching styles are going to match the way we learn the best. While we might think we are able to tackle any obstacle the professor throws our way, we might have a harder time trying to learn from the professor’s teaching style than the actual material itself. 


My institution page on CSUSB's blackboard site. An arrow points to the My Courses toolbox on the right.


  1. Log in to your Class Daily


Once you are comfortable with the classes you have selected for your term, make sure that you log in to each class daily. You will want to log in to each class daily to know if your professor has posted any updates to the course or course materials. This will help you stay on top of your assignments and help you stay on track with your course and course schedule. 


Students ask an instructor questions. She tells them to check the syllabus. Frustrated, she holds up a check syllabus sign.


  1. Follow your SYLLABUS!


Your syllabus will be your best friend. Make sure that you have a planner or calendar that you can see daily as a reminder of what you have due and what you have coming up. When you know what is on the syllabus for each of your classes, you will have a better understanding of your professors’ expectations of your work and of the learning outcomes your professor is trying to help you accomplish.  


Three yellow minions in overalls stand together. The middle one holds a Check your Email Sign. The third holds a banana.


  1. Check your Student Email


Checking your Student Email will help you stay in touch with your professor’s updates to the course or to your assignments. Your student email will keep you in touch with other students in your class as well. You or your classmates will be able to reach out to each other via email to ask questions to each other about your course and homework. 


A hand holds a smooth shell that says Back to Work on it. In the background is the Ocean.


  1. Set Specific Work Times


Set specific work times for yourself, Monday through Friday. Setting specific work times for yourself during a normal workweek will keep you occupied with your assignments and studying for your classes. By setting at least four hours a day dedicated to your school work and assignments, you will be able to maintain good time management for your assignments and complete your assignments on time. 


Crudely drawn orange humanoid handcuffs a blue humanoid to its wrist. It asks if the blue one wants to hang out.


  1. Try to Make Friends


Although your classes might be completely online, don't allow this to stop you from making friends with your classmates. It sounds impossible. However, as long as you are willing to put in the effort to try to make friends it will happen. One way you are able to make friends online is sending a mass email to the class asking if anyone would like to join in your study group. This will open the door for others who might be seeking help with the course to join in your Zoom session and you will be able to speak more intimately about the class and your experiences within the class together. 


A human hand sticks out of the ocean. No other body part is seen. The caption reminds us not to be afraid to ask for help.


  1. Don't be Afraid to ask for Help


Asking for help might be one of the hardest things that someone will have to do within their academic career. It is, however, completely necessary. Being able to ask for help from your classmates or your professor is a great way to help you successfully pass the course online. 


With these tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy and active work ethic for your online courses, you will definitely see an improvement in the number of assignments completed on-time and the course productivity you can achieve.