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How to Make Online Classes a Success!

This school year will certainly be a year to remember. Whether classes are synchronous via Blackboard Collaborate, Canvas, Zoom, Skype for Business or Google Meet, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and too drained to bring yourself to complete your homework. But, with the help of a few apps, general tips and advisors from your Student Academic Centers on campus, there are plenty of ways to stay on top of and get ahead for the Fall 2020 semester! Having a paper planner is great, but let’s be real. How often are you actually going to open it up and plug in the due dates and times you have class in a virtual semester?

In a world where everything is becoming remote, apps are the best way to keep on top of your school work year round whether virtual or in-person. I definitely recommend adding your assignments and class times on Google Calendar or on Apple Calendar. For some schools, there will be the option to add your class times throughout the entire semester by pressing just one button. After doing so, make sure to check your syllabi and add all of your assignments, whether big or small, and add reminders to each of them so you don’t forget to complete them! For completing online readings, I suggest using the app Kami which can be linked to your Google Drive account. On Kami, I like to annotate my readings by highlighting sections and adding comments. The good thing about Kami is its ability to automatically save what you were working on, and once you’re complete you can just upload the annotated version straight to your Google Drive!

Are you taking a textbook heavy class and need help studying important dates, people, places and terms? My end-all be-all app is Quizlet. Quizlet can be accessed from almost if not all smart devices including phones, laptops and tablets to make your education more convenient and easier to access for you! Quizlet is great to create and combine lists of flashcards and allows you multiple options for studying: traditional flashcards, self-made quizzes, matching games, and fill-in-the-blank reviews. Quizlet also will read aloud to you the flashcard(s) that you select as your reviewing and allows for multiple languages within one set of flashcards. So not only is this a great choice for STEM majors who need to include pictures of chemical equations, but also Spanish learners who are looking to either brush up on their skills or start from scratch.

My last piece of advice is to reach out not only to your professors but also fellow classmates and advisors in your school’s Student Academic Center. There they will be able to help you break down your assignments into manageable portions without making you feel overwhelmed by looming deadlines. Additionally, classmates, professors and the advisors will have plenty of other suggestions for how to stay on top of assignments not only for their classes, but also for your other classes you’re currently taking. Advisors in your Student Academic Center will also provide you with other app suggestions or downloadable PDF documents to help you with your assignments throughout the semester. While classes may not resemble what we all are accustomed to, with the help of online resources and open communication you can make the best out of your virtual Fall semester!

By: Meghan Iadeluca, American University ‘22

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