Tips for staying on top of online coursework

By now most, if not all, students have experienced online classes in some form over the past year. With 42% of undergraduate classes currently online and the upcoming asynchronous remote class day for Labor Day, it is important to check-in with how you are managing online work. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your virtual coursework.

Use your resources

The Student Success Center provides several resources to help you do well academically. This fall all supplemental instruction sessions will be virtual through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Get more specific information about session dates, times and links on the SI session schedule. 

Peer tutoring, peer writing help and success consultations can currently be scheduled for online or face-to-face sessions. To schedule an appointment, head to the Student Success Center website.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification. Contacting your professor can help answer your questions and is a great way to get to know them better. Follow the Student Success Center’s guide for professional email etiquette when contacting faculty.

Stay organized

Time management is especially important when it comes to online classes. If you aren’t actively staying organized, you can forget assignments and deadlines when you aren’t meeting in person.

Everyone’s organization methods are different, so find what works best for you. Whether you prefer using an online calendar, physical planner or an organizational app, what’s most important is being mindful of dates in advance. Before starting each day, go through your lists of what needs to be done in order of urgency and importance.

We recommend using the Navigate Student app as an easy way stay on top of your schedule. This app keeps all of your important to-dos, class times, events and important deadlines all in one place on your phone.

Remove distractions

Attending lectures online can present far more distractions than attending class in person. Do your best to let your roommates or anyone around you know when you will be in class, so they don’t interrupt. It can also be helpful to put texts, emails and other notifications on do not disturb during class hours to avoid distraction.

Give yourself breaks throughout the day to prevent burn out. BeFocused is another great app for your phone that is helpful for staying on task. The app breaks up individual tasks into intervals, separated by short breaks. You can create tasks, configure breaks and track your progress throughout the day, week or custom period. 

Enjoy a change in scenery

Doing all of your online work in the same place you’re living can get pretty monotonous. Getting some fresh air by studying outside on the Horseshoe or the rooftop of Gambrell Hall can be a great change in scenery.

Thomas Cooper Library is also currently open to students, faculty and staff and is another great study spot. Bring your Carolina Card for the library and remember to wear a face covering, stay physically distanced and wash your hands when out and about.

Keep technology in mind

Use the time you would normally spend getting to class to set up your technology and connect to secure WiFi ahead of time before online lectures, meetings and appointments.

If you are having any technology-related issues call the IT Service Desk at 803-777-1800 to make an appointment for free hands-on technology support at Carolina Tech Zone’s new location in the Byrnes Building.

For more academic support, including 10 tips for succeeding in online classes, visit the Student Success Center website.

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