Today@Sam Article

Top Ten Tips For Online Courses

March 23, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney

Story by: Mikah Boyd

As Sam Houston State University transitions to remote delivery for the remainder of the semester, it is important for students to stay motivated and work hard to succeed outside the classroom. Here are the top ten tips from students and staff that have experience with online courses.


Check your syllabus

Lots of information about the class can be found on the syllabus, specifically due dates. In order to stay on top of course work, students should check their syllabi and make note of all due dates either on their Outlook calendar or a paper one.



Complete assignments early

Once you learn when everything is due, start knocking out those assignments early in order to create free time and take away the pressure of that due date. This is also particularly helpful in the event that you have technical issues, so that you are not stuck with a frozen computer or a lost document the night that an assignment is due.


Stay updated on emails

Worried about a potential lack of communication between professors and students? An easy fix to this is frequently checking your email in order to know when your professor wishes to update the class or contact you personally about assignments.


Discover your learning habits

Although the move to remote delivery can seem daunting, this is a great time for students to discover how they learn. Students can use this time to find what times they learn best; some retain knowledge better in the morning while others thrive in the evening. They can also take this time to find what styles of studying are most effective for them by trying handwritten notes or notecards.


Create and follow a schedule

Completing a full schedule of college courses online can seem overwhelming when you are working from home. Household responsibilities seem to peer over one shoulder while impending due dates looks over the other, that is why it is pivotal to create a time-management schedule in order to keep organized and on task. Remember, it is fine to use other people’s schedules as on outline, but not everyone’s needs are the same. Don’t be afraid to workshop it until you find what works best for you.


Find a study space

A house or apartment can be full of distractions, especially if you are with family, so it is important to find a space that you can be fully engaged. This could be your room, or even a space outside (while maintaining social distancing), wherever you feel comfortable and focused.


Get an accountability partner

When working from home, it can be hard to stay motivated while trying to complete coursework when those around you are just relaxing. Find someone that you can confide in and have them encourage you when you start to get bogged down. Classmates or friends can serve as accountability partners, meaning that you both keep each other on task and motivated through daily check-ups, a simple text can help lift someone’s spirits.


Stay motivated

Once students have found their study spaces and accountability partners, it is important to stay motivated. You can do this by filling your study space with inspirational quotes or little reminders of your successes. Another way to stay motivated is to have rewards for completing certain tasks, such as a healthy snack after finishing an assignment.


Ask for help

Some topics are harder to grasp than others and there is no need to be afraid of asking for help from your professor, the only difference is that instead of raising your hand in class or meeting after the lecture, you send an email. Students can be reluctant to email professors for fear of being ignored, but your professors are here to help you succeed.


Don’t forget to rest

Since classes are online and students are expected to be on top of due dates and assignments, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. That is why it is important for students to follow the schedule that they created and take some time to rest and recharge. Not everything will be due the same day, and weekends will still be free, so students should use this free time to take care of themselves.

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