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The face of education is quickly changing thanks to technological advances and the Internet. You can pursue a degree or learn a new skill from the comfort of your own home. Online classes are generally less expensive than traditional college classes and they are much more convenient for today’s busy lifestyle. When starting out with online classes, there can be a learning curve, so we’ve complied some tips to help you find success in your online classes.

Make sure you have the right equipment.

One of the first things to tackle when it comes to online classes is having the proper equipment. You should have a computer, ideally a laptop so that you can take your online class with you everywhere you go! In addition to a computer, a fast and reliable Internet connection is also important. There’s nothing worse than losing your Internet connection in the middle of a class or in the middle of writing a paper. Some classes might also require a webcam or microphone, depending on the what type of class you are taking.

Log in early.

As soon as you have access to the class website, log in and familiarize yourself with the format of the website. Also, read the syllabus and make sure that you understand the structure of the class. This a great time to ask any your professor any questions, as well as make sure that your computer and Internet connection are working properly.

Create a schedule to stay organized.

Just because you may not have a scheduled class time doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create your own schedule! Based on your syllabus, schedule certain times each week to work on your assignments, read your textbooks and catch up on your class videos. Treat your online class like a job! Show up during your scheduled times and make sure that you can work uninterrupted.

Pick your study space.

Find a space that allows you to be the most productive and focused and eliminate all distractions. Put your phone away, turn the TV off and close all other tabs on your computer. Some people find that coffee shops are great places to work, while others may prefer to work at home. Find out what works for you and stick to it!

Connect with your classmates & professors.

Taking classes online can seem isolating, but it doesn’t have to be! Even though you may not be seeing them everyday in class, you still have classmates and a professor. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, whether it be from fellow classmates, a teaching assistant or your professor. Most online classes have a directory of all your classmates & professor’s email addresses. There might also be a forum or chat feature that allows you to connect with others in your class. Don’t be afraid to utilize all of the resources that are available to you!