#ChinoyTips: How to ace your online classes

Online classes can be quite challenging for students who are doing them for the first time. Students are usually intimidated because they’re still used to face-to-face classes. There may be a few changes and adjustments here and there. Once you get used to online classes, you can be able to balance your studies, extracurriculars, social life, and commitments.

Ready to be a dean’s lister or honor student? With the correct preparation and a determined spirit, you’ll be able to ace your online classes with these #ChinoyTips from a consistent first honor dean’s lister!


1. Set up an adjusted routine.

When it comes to offline and online classes, it’s important to have an adjusted routine depending on your class schedule. It’s easy to follow your old routine during face-to-face classes and adjust it according to your liking. Try out different routines during the first two weeks of your classes to see what works for you. Adjust your routine depending on whether you have synchronous and asynchronous classes on that day. It’s easier to schedule out your week and finish your tasks if you’ve set up an effective routine depending on classes. 

Once you have an adjusted routine, you can incorporate a new study routine for your online classes! Don’t be afraid to also switch up your study routine for your online classes. Since you’ll be using your devices like your laptop and iPad during your classes, you can try taking digital notes. Digital notes are effective as handwritten notes, because it’s easy to access and utilize your documents. With typewritten notes, you can easily make review guides and use online flashcards like Quizlet and Anki. Using different study methods like active recall, you can score high in your exams!


2. Treat the synchronous class like it’s a face-to-face class.

There are some perks in synchronous classes that are held virtually on Zoom, Google Meet, Discord, or BigBlueButton. Don’t forget to take the time to be familiar with them so that you won’t have any technical problems during the class. Synchronous classes can be convenient because you can easily take a restroom break, eat snacks, and multitask other tasks. You can also view the recorded synchronous classes again if you didn’t understand the lesson or didn’t attend the class. Despite the convenience, it’s easy to fall behind and slack off in class with your camera turned off and microphone muted. 

That’s why it’s important to treat your synchronous class like an in-person class. Make sure to be on the video or conference call 5-10 minutes before your class starts. Sometimes professors forget to admit their students in the call if they’re late, so it’s better to be early. While it’s easy to just read along with the slide presentation and screenshot it, you can retain more information by taking handwritten or digital notes. You’ll never know whether or not you’ll be called on that session. It’s always best to be prepared for graded recitations in synchronous classes by rereading your notes and readings before class. By being prepared and alert in class, you can definitely learn effectively in online classes. 


3. Organize your schedule to keep track of your responsibilities.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the requirements and commitments that you’re juggling. With weekly modules and extracurricular activities, it’s important to keep track of your deadlines by organizing your schedule. Pre-recorded lectures, readings, online discussions, essays, and quizzes from different subjects can easily pile up for asynchronous sessions. While online classes bring you the liberty to work at your own pace, these requirements add up every meeting. Other requirements also take a lot of time to accomplish too, so you shouldn’t wait and do those asynchronous activities the night before the deadline. 

Using Google Calendar, Google Keep, Notion, or a printable planner can help you keep track of your tasks and take note of synchronous sessions or meetings. Keeping track of your responsibilities can help you avoid procrastinating and having a burnout. You’ll also avoid pulling out all-nighters that can badly affect your health and performance. Having ample time to prepare and do well in your requirements is always better than cramming and passing bare minimum ones. Being organized can help you get good scores in every module for your classes.  


4. Motivate yourself and others.

Online classes can be unmotivating if you don’t have the determination and fighting spirit to conquer the term or semester. It’s important that you set personal SMART goals before the term starts, so that you have the motivation to achieve them. Be sure to create a reward system for yourself to boost your self-motivation. If you’re distracted and feel the need to receive the incentive immediately, you can regain your focus by using web and app blockers. You can also listen to music without lyrics like lofi music and instrumentals on YouTube and Spotify. Listening to music can increase your productivity and improve your performance by putting you in a good mood while doing the task. You can accomplish your requirements faster by rewarding yourself after watching an episode of your favorite show or having a good night’s sleep. Knowing that you’re also putting a lot of effort into your work, your effort will definitely reap out a good result. Your self-motivation, efforts, and self-discipline can totally help you achieve your academic goals!

There is also a likelihood that your friends and classmates have the same goals as you. It’s easier to achieve your goals when you and your peers are motivated by each other. Knowing that you’re all in this term together and have each others’ back, it’s easier to stay motivated by one another. You can also motivate yourself and others with study buddies by setting up a study twitter account or watching Study With Me videos. Motivating each other to finish tasks and to get high grades can also help you and your peers reach your academic goals for the term or semester. 


5. Be flexible, open-minded, and considerate to others.

Group works are usually assigned by professors in output-based requirements. Chances are professors randomly assigned you into a group or you get to choose your own group mates, it’s important that your group collaborates well. It can be tough to collaborate with your groupmates virtually but communication is key! Be sure to always have clear communication with your group mates and look out for them. Make sure to also reach out to your professors in a reasonable time if you have any clarifications and problems with the requirements.

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is facing different situations and problems in this pandemic. Remember that everyone is also adjusting to online classes and the new normal, including your professors. Be flexible, open-minded, and considerate of others whether they have other responsibilities, internet connection issues, and personal problems. Be a team player in your group! Ask and provide feedback on the works of you and your group mates. Have the initiative to reach out to them and lead a helping hand if they need anything. Teamwork can lead to a good mark by finishing the requirements in an effective and efficient way.

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