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Mistakes that Online Students Make

Although taking online classes does have its perks, it’s certainly not easier than traditional college. In fact, it can sometimes be more difficult. This belief that online schooling is easier has set many a student up for failure. Thinking that you can pass a course without putting in any effort will always end in disaster, no matter where you are attending school.

If you are thinking about signing up for an online course, be prepared to do the work and always avoid making the following five mistakes.

Not Sticking to a Schedule

Yes, an internet-based course is more flexible than a classroom-based course, but only because you aren’t required to attend class at a scheduled time. Other than that, professors who teach online classes still require students to complete readings, homework, quizzes and tests by specific dates and times. Online students who don’t keep up with this schedule often find themselves cramming an entire week’s worth of school work into one night, and this is not a recipe for success.

Not Completing Reading Assignments

Most online classes use video lectures, slideshows and reading assignments to teach course material. However, because homework assignments and quizzes usually only contain questions from the video lectures and slideshows, some students choose to skip the reading assignments. This is a huge mistake. Not only because it limits how much you will learn, but also because final exams usually contain questions from reading assignments.

Also, online class discussions often focus on the content from required readings, so you will want to be able to participate.

Using Notes on Quizzes

Although it isn’t against course policy to use your notes, you won’t ever truly test your knowledge if you always rely on them to complete quizzes. Treat online class quizzes just as you would any other class quiz; with closed books and hidden lecture notes.

Not Reaching Out to Professors

Even though online students don’t get face-to-face time with professors, this doesn’t mean they don’t have an actual teacher. Even so, this distance can make some forget that they do have teacher support and that their professors can be easily reached via email or telephone to answer questions or clarify concepts. By not reaching out to professors, an online student could fail to reach a full understanding of the course material, resulting in a lower grade.

Not Studying at a Desk or Table

Online classes require a lot more focus than traditional classes. This is because your home or the coffee shop where you study can contain quite a few distractions. Students who designate a table or desk at home for studying will find that their concentration will improve dramatically.

Ideally, this desk or table should be away from all distractions, such as the television and other people.

Good luck with your studies!

Caroline Ross is a freelance writer for several education and career websites, including In order to inspire and inform people about the importance of education and seeking your calling in life, Caroline writes many articles about preparing for college, career planning and getting the right training for a job. She welcomes your comments and questions below!
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