How To Stay Motivated In An Online Class

By Ashley Paskill on April 14, 2019

For students who work while going to school, online classes allow them to do both and study on their own time. However, online classes still have assignments due on a regular basis and will require the same attention that an in-person class does. While not having to be on campus in person to take online classes is a huge perk, especially students who have jobs or other obligations, it can be tough to find the necessary motivation to keep up. It is possible to stay motivated and succeed in an online class if you stay organized and focused on the outcome.

Remember why you took classes online

While it can be easy to question why you decided to take a class or multiple classes online, there was probably a good reason why you did. Whether this reason was to work to pay your own way through college or to have time to be active in internships or student organizations, keep the reason in mind. Whenever you begin to doubt yourself and your abilities to keep up, bring the reason to mind and it will motivate you to keep going.

If applicable, write down your motivations for taking an online class. Make multiple copies of the list and place them around your house or apartment in places you will see them. This will give you a visual reminder and motivation for what you are doing.

Plan your study time and assignments

Having study and homework time set aside is a great way to make sure it gets done. Schedule it like you would a job shift or event. Designating this time to do your online class will help you stay focused and will ensure that you can keep up. As soon as you get your syllabus at the beginning of the semester, write down your assignments and tests so that you can plan your days accordingly.

Build a routine. Taking classes online can give you the freedom to build your days to your choosing. However, this can backfire if you do not have anything else going on. Create a routine so that you can have some sort of structure in your life. Have a designated time for your studying. If possible, set your work or internship schedule to work the same hours each week. This will make it easier to set times to study since you know your schedule. Write down events you are interested in as soon as you can in order to change your study schedule accordingly.

Create balance in your life. While school and work are important, it is also important to make sure you are taking time for professional advancement as well as a social life. Keeping a planner can help you visually map out your day and know where you can schedule various events. Also, make sure you make time to take care of you. While events, work, internships, and organizations are all important, it is still important to take care of you.  Make sure you have time to eat three meals a day and have some time to relax and reflect on the day.

online class

Image: Though Catalog via

Set attainable goals

Having a set of goals can help you make the most out of any class, but it can be especially useful for online classes. While it can be great to dream big, it is important to also have smaller goals to achieve.

While it is easy to say that you are going to study all day when you have a day off, in reality, this probably will not happen. You will want to have some time to relax and have some time for yourself. Instead of saying that you will do all of your studying and homework in one day, set aside an hour each day to get classwork done. That way, you will be less intimidated by the amount of work you have and can make steady progress.

Also, avoid saying that you will get all A’s in your online classes. While this is a nice goal, online classes can be just as challenging as on-campus classes. You may be able to use your book for tests and quizzes, but you still have to know where to find the answers. Also, if you have a lot of papers for a class and are not a strong writer, this will bring you down. Instead, aim for a B in your classes as this will take the pressure off.

Interact with your professor and classmates

One of the challenges of not being on-campus is not having a face to the names you see in your course roster and on the discussion forums. If you still live on campus and know one or two of your classmates do as well, email them to meet up once a week. You can study together and bond over how much you love or hate the class. Even if you are not able to meet in person, email classmates and keep open communication with them.

Also, make a point to introduce yourself to your professor via email before the class officially starts. This will really help you stand out. Feel free to email your teacher if you have any questions about your assignments. If you live on campus or attend classes in-person, arrange to meet your online professor in-person so they have a face to your name.

Online classes can be intimidating and it can be tough to remain motivated, but there are ways that you can stay focused and accomplish your goals.

By Ashley Paskill

Uloop Writer

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