Online learners share tips for success with virtual classes


With all students switching to virtual classrooms this semester, some students may be anxious about the change. Whether students are brand new to online learning or a seasoned virtual learner, setting yourself up for success is important. Review these tips below from experienced students who have learned the ins and outs of online classes.

Write it down and map it out

The number one thing to stay on track is writing everything down. Staying aware of when everything is due and keeping an eye on all email updates from professors is crucial. Even making a timeline for yourself of the individual steps needed to get projects done can help a lot with time management.

—Alyson, senior visual communication design major

Stay updated and find your place

"It's good to check your email and Canvas every day, even if you don't think you have anything due, since things can slip your mind occasionally with online classes. For working on classes at home, I've heard it said that you shouldn't do homework in bed since your brain associates the space with sleeping and relaxing. I like to have a dedicated spot that I only do work in so I can get my brain into ‘work mode.’ For example, when I work at my dining room table, I sit at a different spot than where I normally eat."

—Holly, junior media arts and science major

Use a planner

"Have a planner. Simply just writing down the things you need to do, even if you don’t plan to go back and read it, I have found has helped me a ton!"

—Tori, senior visual communication design major

Make a schedule

"I find it helpful to plan out what I need to get done and when I'm going to do it. Sticking to a schedule helps me stay productive and make sure I don't forget anything I need to be working on."

—Trevor, human-computer interaction December 2019 graduate

Model the classroom experience

"I have taken three online classes, and if there’s one piece of advice I can give, it would be access the module, videos, or presentation the day it’s published. This helps you stay on track as if you were on campus physically coming to classes."

—Muj, senior media arts and science major

Take the Keep Learning module

IU Expand has a module about remote learning to help you figure out how to navigate online courses. Review topics like communicating with your instructor and classmates, attending lectures, and taking tests and quizzes. Keep Learning at IU

For more information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at