Tips for Success in Online Classes

Happy first week of school to everyone heading back to the grind this week! 2020 has definitely been the whirlwind of the year. I commend everyone who is starting or continuing their education in 2020, I know it can’t be easy to be going to school during this pandemic! I wanted to take today to share some things I found that helped me during my online classes throughout the course of my college career. I’ll preface this by saying I did NOT take any classes during the time of Covid, so I totally understand this is a bigger and new degree of stress and change! However, my Associate Degree in Science I took almost all my classes online (I would say 40 plus credit hours were completed online plus another 10 hours hybrid) and I also obtained my BSN through a completely online RN to BSN program at MUSC. So I do have some experience in the online education world!

Get Organized

Seriously, missing an assignment can REALLY hurt your grade. And when your not going to class and seeing other students/instructors it can be really easy to miss an assignment. You need to use a calendar- whether a paper planner or an app on your phone. Double and triple check you have the right dates for assignment due dates.

Find a Study Space

I know this is probably harder in the days of Covid, so it’s even more important to find a space that you can use to study. I found I did well being at a desk/table most the time. Since a lot of the time will actually be spent at home, and not on campus or at coffee shops, create a space that will help switch your mind from “home” to “school.”

Turn things in EARLY

Guys, Wifi issues or the portal being down can be an end all for online classes! The stress that you will experience trying to get an assignment to upload or internet to work in the last minutes before an assignment is due cannot be expressed! Just turn it in early.

Get Help ASAP

If you do poorly on a paper or test, or you feel like you’re not understanding, reach out for help ASAP. The further in the semester it becomes, and the more information you’re confused on, the harder it is to recover and raise your grade. Email your instructor if you need help. See if they can set up a zoom office hour. Look for a tutor. See what your college offers- both of mine provided free tutoring for students. Just please, don’t let pride or embarrassment get in the way- ask for HELP. It’s okay. We all need it sometimes.

Utilize Online Resources 

There is a plethora of resources online to help you in your nursing school journey! YouTube has a lot of educational content that can be used along side your college textbooks and lectures. (Note: This is just supplemental material to help you better understand nursing concepts and lecture material.) Nurse Sara of the Registered Nurse RN offers a ton of free content for NCLEX, nursing school, and your career as a nurse! Khan Academy has a lot of excellent videos and resources for science and math classes. Make sure what you are using is reputable, but there is so much knowledge and help on the internet you can utilize to be successful!

Believe You Can Do It

I think one of the best things you can do is to truly keep the mindset, you CAN do online classes. I always hear people tell me “I could never do online classes!” I get it, I felt that way too. But I did it, and you can too.

Good luck to everyone heading back to class- whether in person or virtual. I hope you have a successful semeseter!

Please reach out with any questions or if you just need someone to talk too! You also can see my post on Three Tips for Nursing School for some more support and information on starting your nursing school journey!