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How to Choose Your Online Classes

Updated: Jun 14

I consider myself to be a semi-professional when it comes to taking online classes. I’ve been taking them since my first semester of college, and my past two semesters have been 100% online. Thanks to our recent global pandemic, it seems that most (if not all) colleges and universities have switched to online learning, and it’s unclear whether or not that will continue until the fall semester. You might find yourself asking one or all of the following questions: How do online college classes work? Are online college classes hard? Help...? Just in case online classes continue into next semester, here’s my advice for how to choose your online classes and set yourself up for success!


1. Read the course descriptions. And then read them again.


Does the class sound like something you’ll be able to keep yourself interested in? If not, I highly suggest trying to find another class that fits in your degree plan. For example, last semester, all of my classes were online. Some of my classes were great, and others were so incredibly meh. Naturally, I did really well in the classes I was interested in (American Horror Film and Art History), and it was a lot harder for me to succeed in the ones I wasn’t so in love with (Intro to American Criminal Justice- bleh). Online classes are all about self-discipline and motivation. It’s hard enough to keep on top of an online class you’re actually invested in, so don’t put yourself through the trouble of taking a class you care nothing about unless you absolutely have to.


2. Know your strengths and weaknesses.


Choosing your online courses takes a lot of self-awareness. If writing isn’t your strong point, you might not do so well in a writing-intensive online course. While you are still able to interact with your professors, I find there are far fewer opportunities for one-on-one help in an online course. I suggest taking online classes in subjects you’re already strong in, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with online learning.


3. Use your advisor!


Your advisor is literally being paid to work for you! Start forging a relationship with them as soon as possible— this is important whether you’re taking on-campus or online classes. They have the tools to help you figure out which classes you need to finish your degree, which classes you don’t need to bother taking, and anything else you need help with when it comes to your academic career. Don’t be scared to send them a quick email whenever you have a question about your degree plan or which classes you should be taking.


How has your experience been with online classes so far? Any suggestions? Any questions? I want to hear what you think!


-Sav







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