March 18, 2020

Tips for adjusting to online classes

By Matthew Keck — 

Every student at the University of Louisville is facing the task of adjusting to online classes for the foreseeable future. For students who have taken online classes in the past, this is no issue.

As for those who haven’t, Kristen Brown, associate director of online learning at U of L, has provided tips to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Check In Daily

Brown says that students who want to make their online transition a successful one need to check in daily. “Just like in a live classroom, there may be discussions taking place or updates from your teacher, so being present in your virtual classroom is essential for staying engaged,” she says.

And this doesn’t mean checking in once a day. She suggests checking in multiple times each day to make sure students aren’t missing any information for their classes.

“Students need to be sure they are clear on the faculty member’s expectations in terms of communication (frequency and methods), and due dates for assignments,” says Brown.

Manage Your Time

While there is no set “time” for classes anymore, students must keep in mind that there are still due dates or real-time lectures to attend. With that in mind, it is a good idea to set aside time, like you would for normal classes, to stay on top of things.

“Laying out a plan to stay engaged in all of your online courses will be essential,” says Brown. “Since your course schedule will not revolve around regular in-person class sessions, you must be able to set a schedule that allows you to meet course deadlines.”

This new online territory can be tricky, but balancing your time can make it less hectic.

Communicate

Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing what to do or how to do it. So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, Brown says students need to communicate with their respective professors.

“One of the most important things that we can all do to ensure the success of an online course is to communicate well and communicate often,” she says.

“By engaging with the faculty member, other students and the course material, students will be able to make the most of their online courses,” says Brown. “Asking questions, taking notes, and staying organized will help tremendously.”

This is a first time experience for many of professors as well, so communicating with them helps make this a more successful experience for both sides.

Use Resources

Lastly, Brown says students should take advantage of the resources that will help them during these times.

“Students should use the resources available to them on track,” she says. “Advisors will be available remotely, and the university will continue to offer its virtual support through the Writing CenterREACH and the Library.”

Brown also provided a list of technological resources for students:

Again, this way of operating is new for mostly everyone involved. Remain patient, keep these tips in mind, communicate and make the end of the semester a good one.

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