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What Should You Do When Your Classes Switch to Online?

Published: April 13, 2020

Did you sign up for on-campus classes, but now your college has switched to an online format? If you’ve never taken them, online programs can seem a little scary. But they don’t need to be. With a little preparation and self-discipline, you can rock this transition and find success.

Here are some online learning tips to help if your classes switched to online:

Make Sure You Have What You Need to Learn Online

Do you already have a computer at home with reliable internet? If not, can your coursework be completed on a tablet or your smartphone? Do you need to download special apps or software? What other tools, such as notebooks, folders, and planners, will help you stay organized? Take stock of what you need as early as possible to identify missing pieces. And if you have questions about your technology and whether or not it will meet your needs, reach out to your school and ask questions. We’re all in this together!

Designate an Online Learning Study Space

Where will you be able to work, free from distractions? Some people are fine on the couch or recliner, but for most people a dedicated online study space is the way to go. This might be at a desk, the dining room table, the kitchen counter, or even on the porch. Choose a place and time to work away from others. Keep the TV off and avoid music with lyrics; you want to concentrate on your work and not your tunes. Turn off other gadgets that may distract you and keep your phone on vibrate or silent when studying. Keep distractions to a minimum.

Create a Schedule to Manage Online Classes

You’re used to the daily routine of going to class at a certain time every day. Although you can now attend class from the comfort of your home, it’s unlikely you’re there alone. You also may need to share resources with other family members, including kids attending school online. Be realistic about what will be a fair arrangement. Consider scheduling your own virtual class time before kids wake up or after they’ve gone to bed. And while it’s important to have a schedule you can stick to, you will also need to be willing to adapt. Give yourself the ability to do make-up work when you need to take a break.

Keep in Touch with Your Online Teachers

Make sure you check your student email and your online student portal at least once a day. With less face-to-face interaction, faculty and staff will rely on email to communicate with you. The way you complete and turn in assignments will probably change. Be sure you understand the student portal and what’s expected of you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your teachers if you have questions.

And try to have patience. This switch may be challenging for everyone involved. If it takes your instructor a little longer to grade your assignment, don’t worry. They’re getting to know a whole new way of teaching and are probably handling more emails and questions, so it may take longer for them to get things done and respond to your questions.


Remember that you’re not working through the chaos alone. This type of transition is an adjustment for everyone involved. At Charter College, our faculty and staff want to help you achieve your goals even when challenges arise. That means we're here with online programs that fit your career goals. If you’re ready to continue your education, give us a call at 888-200-9942 or fill out the form for more information.