How to Make the Most of Online Classes


Online classes have now become permanent for many students, for better or for worse. Unfortunately, it can be more difficult to stay focused when you’re staring at a screen than when you’re in the same room as your professor. The good news is that there are ways to stay engaged and take full advantage of your classes, even when they are online.

1. Decide Where You’ll Take Classes

Put yourself in the right frame of mind by designating a spot for all your classes. For most students, this will likely be a desk, but you may prefer the couch in the living room, the kitchen table, or somewhere else in your student housing. Just make sure you won’t face too many interruptions and will be able to remain there comfortably until your class is over.

2. Exercise During Your Breaks

Between classes, step away from the screen to give your eyes a rest and move your body to prevent strain. Depending on how much time you have, you may even be able to fit in a short workout, a stroll, or some quick stretches. It’s best of all if you can head outdoors for some fresh air and sun.

3. Sit Near a Window

If possible, take classes near a window. This will give you some sun all day long, increasing your vitamin D intake. Plus, glancing outside to the trees and blue skies is relaxing, which can keep you motivated during classes.

4. Keep Your Phone Out of Reach

When a class is moving a bit slowly, it can be tempting to reach for your phone to check if you have any messages or to start scrolling through social media. Soon, though, you’ll find that you’re not paying any attention to the class. To take full advantage of your college education, you need to at least try to stay focused. The best way to do this is to keep your phone out of reach during class time.

5. Let Others Know That You’re in Class

Another way you may become distracted is if the people you live with want to talk to you during class. This is particularly a risk if you like to take classes in a shared space, such as in the living room. However, roommates could also knock on your door if you’re in your bedroom. Let everyone around know when you’re in class and need to be left alone. You could even use a system like a sign hanging on your door.

6. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well

It’s difficult to stay focused if you’re dehydrated or hungry. Keep water nearby, and perhaps some healthy snacks as well. Plus, figure out when you’ll have meals — if you’re limited for time, you could prepare food in advance.

7. Split Your Screen or Handwrite Your Notes

To avoid missing parts of the presentation, split your screen to watch the class and type at the same time. Alternatively, you may prefer to handwrite your notes. Many students find that this helps them retain information better, and you can always type your notes up later when you’re organizing them after class. Of course, it may be difficult to write quickly enough, depending on how fast your professor talks.

To succeed with online classes, it’s crucial that you’re able to attend in a quiet environment. This means having either a private bedroom or access to a study space. At Arcadian Students, you’ll have both. Our alternative to Georgian College residence provides you with your own room in a townhouse or suite as well as community amenities like a clubhouse and study rooms — and everywhere has fast internet. Apply for a lease now to start getting more out of your time at college.