Tips for Online Classes - How to Boost Productivity

Posted In Knowledge - 05/11/2020

In recent years, students have been opting out of in-person classes in favor of web-based education. Virtual schooling allows people to learn wherever, whenever and however works best for them while balancing job and family commitments. Though convenient, internet courses can be challenging. We've done our homework and collected some great tips for online learning success.

Update Technology

Upgrading your computer or laptop is the first online college tip. Freezing video screens, unreliable connections and long download times delay information and slow down your education efforts. Your new system also needs ample storage space for new programs and projects. Arts and design students may need a drawing tablet and a high-performance graphics card as well.

Make sure your computer supports all software requirements for your classes. A strong Wi-Fi connection is also vital for accessing course content and submitting assignments. A productive e-learning experience starts with well-functioning equipment that is up to speed and up to date.

Specify a Learning Area

When it comes to digital learning, the comforts of home often get in the way. Students who lounge on a bed or relax on the sofa during internet classes or study sessions may be tempted to snooze or turn on the TV. Choosing a specific part of the house for school work helps students stay focused.

To be successful in online classes, you'll need a designated learning area. Whether it’s a corner of the living room or a separate spare room, it should be quiet, well lit and big enough for a desk and chair. Brush up on a few home office design tips to create a professional and organized work zone.

Update your Learning Area

Once you decide on the place you'll use for virtual learning, change the layout to suit your educational needs. Adding the right furniture and accents inspires a positive and productive mood. Here are a few suggestions to promote comfort and attentiveness in your workspace:

  • Desks- If you're sharing space in a dining room or living room, consider an armoire desk with multiple shelves to hold your books, monitor and keyboard. Repurposing a spare room? Opt for an L-shaped or an executive desk delivers an ample work surface as well as storage. Read up on how tall a desk should be in order to narrow down your options.
  • Seating-Online courses and exam study sessions require students to sit still for hours at a time. Look for an office chair that offers comfort as well as support. Banker's chairs have full arms and wide seats, while an ergonomic model provides lumbar support, castors for mobility and height and tilt adjustments.
  • Accents and Art-Once you have furniture in place, consider decorative items like rugs, sculptures and wall art to brighten up the room. Research color theory to help you choose hues that promote a productive environment.
  • Kids' Classrooms-Children in web-based education programs also need efficient study spaces to succeed. Learn how to set up a homeschool classroom to provide the appropriate setting for all the students in your family.

Eliminate Distractions

Understanding how to be productive online is a skill in its own right. Remote learners often struggle with distractions. Rowdy kids, curious pets and pinging cell phones easily draw people away from their studies. Something as simple as a window overlooking a busy street can interfere with a student's focus. Limiting as many disruptive factors as possible will help you succeed in online courses.

One distraction-reducing tip for taking online classes is investing in noise-canceling headphones to tune out intrusive sounds. Turn your phone off during lessons or download an app blocker to silence social media posts that compete for your attention. Removing these distracting elements from your space enhances concentration and encourages efficiency.

Utilize Online Resources

From homework portals and online libraries to academic advisors, most online learning institutions have a wide range of services available for students. Many offer new enrollees specific study tips for online classes, too. Browse your school's website to see what academic, research and career programs they offer and take advantage of these benefits.

Students have access to a variety of digital resources for academic assistance. Seek out a tutorial for school's course management system, to prevent problems when your assignments are due. Search the campus bookstore's database to buy or rent textbooks. Need some extra help understanding course concepts? Set up a video chat with a tutor.

Take Notes

In order to succeed in online courses, pupils should develop good note-taking skills. Outlining and reviewing class content improves recall and attention to detail. Whether you prefer typing or writing by hand, taking notes is an important part of the virtual learning process.

Note-taking is similar in both traditional and internet-based schooling. Highlight important passages in the reading material. Check your class webpage for recorded lectures and jot down key terms as if you were taking the class in person. Visual learners can search the web for pictures and diagrams to help them remember important concepts.

Take Breaks

While it is important to pay attention to schoolwork, a person can only focus for so long. Frequent pauses throughout the day increase productivity and brain function while reducing stress. Taking an hour-long breather or just stretching your legs for a few minutes is important for an effective online education.

Schedule short breaks or longer intermissions to rest and recharge. Use this downtime to grab a bite to eat and go for a walk to refresh the mind. Playing a video game, flipping through a magazine or socializing with friends between work periods lifts your spirits and motivates you to continue learning.


Maintaining communication with professors and classmates is an important part of web-based education. Using emails and online student forums allow learners to talk with peers, ask questions, and receive feedback from professors. Reach out to teachers and other learners to better understand how to successful in online classes.

Talking with the people in your online courses allows you to establish connections with the rest of your class. Message professors to check your progress, or form a virtual study group to help each other prepare for tests. Networking with instructors and fellow students helps you feel connected during your academic journey.

Wrap Up

More and more people are making the shift from on-campus learning to digital instruction. The convenience of choosing the time, place and methods of your own education makes pursuing a degree over the internet a popular idea. Following these online college tips will help you successfully navigate web-based learning.

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