How to Get More Out of Your Online Classes

young woman studying online

Some people love online classes. You’re able to attend class from the comfort of your own home and there’s often a recording, meaning you can return to the most important parts of the class later. However, other students struggle to gain as much from online classes as they do from in-person classes. You may find you easily become distracted or you feel burned out after sitting behind a screen for many hours. Whatever camp you fall into, there are ways you can make the most of your online classes.

1. Let Roommates Know When You’ll Be in Class

Make sure your roommates are aware of the times you’ll be in class to ensure they won’t disturb you. This is particularly important if your roommates are your friends, as they may want to chat at random points during the day. You could share your schedule or put a note on your door whenever you’re in a class and don’t want interruptions.

2. Have a Designated Spot for Studying

Put yourself in the right frame of mind for studying by designating a space to take your classes. This could be a desk in your room or another place you associate with schoolwork, such as the campus library or a study room. However, it shouldn’t be your bed — even if you have a class early in the morning, you should be able to find the energy to get up and sit somewhere where you’ll be focused.

3. Put Your Phone Out of Reach

To avoid temptations, put your phone somewhere out of reach. Otherwise, if you’re not feeling particularly engaged in the class or you notice you’ve received a notification, you may be tempted to look at your phone instead of paying attention to your class. This could mean you miss valuable information. Whereas you may be able to go back and rewatch the class, this is a waste of time — you should be using study sessions outside of classes for other activities. Treat online classes just as you would in-person classes.

4. Split Your Screen

Avoid needing to switch from the window with your class to another application by splitting the screen on your laptop. This is ideal if you’re taking notes on your laptop rather than on paper or you sometimes need to search for additional information.

5. Keep a Bottle of Water Nearby

If you have several classes back to back, you’re going to feel thirsty after a while. Avoid needing to walk away from your laptop by keeping a bottle of water on your desk. For even longer periods, you should also think about stocking up some healthy snacks as well. Staying hydrated and nourished will help you maintain your focus.

6. Go Outside During Breaks

Use breaks between online classes wisely. If you were on campus, you’d have the chance to move by walking from one class to another. You can do something similar with your online classes by taking a short walk outside to include some gentle exercise in your day and to increase your vitamin D intake. If the break is too short for you to go outdoors, at least get some sunlight by sitting near a window for a few minutes. You may like to open the window and take some deep breaths of fresh air to refresh you before the next class.

Whether all your classes are online or just some of them, it’s important to have the full university experience, which includes student living. Ottawa has housing just for students at 1Eleven. You’ll be able to take your online classes in your fully-furnished private bedroom or in one of our dedicated study spaces. Plus, you can meet other people in places like the games rooms and 24-hour fitness center. Book a tour to check out the facilities for yourself.

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