The Ultimate Guide to Online Classes

Online classes move fast and do not slow down for students; here is the ultimate guide to completing an 8-week class. 

For a traditional on-campus student, online classes can be difficult and seem unnecessary. However, depending on your major and graduation date, online classes may be in your future. Fortunately, there is a guide to acing any online course.

Read Syllabus

The syllabus is the framework of every online class. In traditional 15 week courses, the professor will go over the syllabus during the first week of class. Online classes are a little different in this regard. Because online classes only last eight weeks, they are moving at an extremely fast pace. The professor does not go over the small but necessary details in the syllabus. The syllabus will go over discussion post requirements, weekly deadlines, and the professor’s contact information. Knowledge of all these details is essential to doing well in these eight-week courses.


Without organization, assignments will slip through the cracks. If you are not an organized person, there are simple tasks you can do to help you organize school work for online classes. The first step to good organization is buying a small notebook or planner.  At the beginning of every week, write down the assignments that are due and the specific day they need to be turned in by. For example, discussion post (Wednesday), responses (Sunday), and quiz (Sunday). As you begin to complete assignments, check them off the list.

Time Management

Time management is the best way to utilize small amounts of time to get work done. These small amounts of time tend to add up throughout the week. If there are small times between classes, before work, or at the end of the day, utilize this time. Knocking out smaller assignments such as discussion posts and responses will free up more time than you think. Obviously, not all assignment are as small as a discussion post. Students should dedicate larger time slots, throughout the week, for papers, projects, and quizzes.

Work Ahead

Working ahead can be your best friend. Getting assignments started earlier in the week will free up time for other classes, work, and social activities. Most online assignments are not due until Wednesday, Thursday, and sometimes even Friday. This does not mean that Monday-Wednesday you do not touch online homework. Monday should be the day you plan your whole week and start most of your assignment. This will free up time and help manage stress.

Email Professor

Emailing online professors is one of the best things any student can do. Because online classes do not meet as a class, miscommunication and confusion can happen in almost every week. Emailing a professor is equivalent to talking to a professor after class. Every professor is more than happy to email students and clear up any confusion.  Emailing professors is an easy way to stay afloat in difficult online courses.

Abe Moreno-Riano is the Managing Editor for The Daily Runner.