I am a rising junior at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and over half of the classes I’ve taken in my college career so far have been online despite living on campus. There are many benefits to taking online classes. If you enjoy making your own schedule, are more productive during off-peak hours, or are more introverted, online classes might be an excellent opportunity for you to explore.
Between online or hybrid courses—classes that have both online instruction and in-person exams—twelve out of my twenty classes have been online. In my first semester at UTSA, I only took one online course. A year later, I took all of my five courses, except one, online. My main reason for taking mostly online classes is because I enjoy making my own schedule. I genuinely feel like the same courses at the same time every day gets old very quickly. With online classes, you can rearrange your schedule week by week to fit your personal needs. College can be very emotionally taxing. For my personality type, taking online courses allows me to shift things according to whatever individual needs I may have that day.
Secondly, I am a night owl, meaning I’m more productive at night. If I had to go to class regularly during the week in the mornings or afternoons, I don’t think I would be able to perform as well as I am when I can make my schedule. If this is your scenario, you might want to consider taking online classes as well.
Lastly, I get anxious about being around too many people all day. I prefer to retreat to work on whatever I may need to. That is when I am most productive. The most important thing is learning what works for you. But if you relate with my sentiment of not being able to be fully productive around groups of people, you should consider taking most or all online courses. All in all, the most important thing is studying your habits and personality to be able to choose the best schedule possible.
In addition to knowing your strengths, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of tips on how to be successful when taking online courses. Here are my main ways you can increase your chances of being successful in online classes.
1. Plan Ahead
2. Have a Set Workspace
3. Get Organized
4. Use on Campus Resources
When using tutoring services and things of that nature, you’ll be able to be around other students and, most of all, experts who can help you be successful in that course. It’s important to utilize on-campus resources when taking online classes because you’re paying for them. All your on-campus resources like tutoring services, IT services, library, and more, are all paid for by your tuition and fees, so why not make proper use of them? And now that more classes are online because of COVID-19, there are many resources throughout YouTube and other platforms that can help.
Taking online courses can be a fantastic option for those who want it. It does require some discipline and focus, but I believe that if you really want it, you can make it happen. Things like learning styles, personality types, and technological resources are a huge factor in deciding whether or not to take online classes. I know, especially with classes being online because of COVID-19, most students may not appreciate it. But hopefully, these tips will help you have a great online semester.
For more information on other COVID-19 specific resources available, check out succeeding in school during COVID-19.