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6 tips for success in your online courses

Let’s address the elephant in the room – this fall at the UF Warrington College of Business is going to look a little different than what you’re used to. The majority of Warrington students will be taking courses online, and we know that’s a scary thought to a lot of you.  

Like most things that make us uneasy, there’s a simple solution to tackling changes that scare us the most – being prepared. In order to help you prepare to take on your online courses, we collected tips from the faculty that teach your courses and experts in Warrington’s Teaching and Learning Center. Read on to see their tips on how you can take on your semester of online courses with confidence.

  1. Watch/attend your lectures in a timely fashion 

If you have live class sessions that happen at the same time every week, attend and participate in all of them. Get ready for online classes just as you would for in-person classes – get dressed, refrain from eating, be on time, etc. A good rule of thumb, for all live lectures and zoom meetings, be courteous and mute your mic upon entering the room (unless otherwise directed by your instructor).

If all of your class lectures are available to you at the beginning of your course, set up a specific schedule for when you watch lectures each week, and maybe even arrange a shared schedule with a friend who is taking the same course.

If you have lectures posted online weekly, watch within one day of them posting online.

  1. Actively try to find study buddies

It is harder to find these when you do not get to sit next to each other every week but doing so can help keep you on track throughout the semester.

  1. Actively participate in online classes, especially lectures

While the setting may feel more anonymous, you should take any opportunity to ask clarifying questions and seek out extra help when needed.

  1. Stay organized and on top of deadlines and exam dates

This can be more challenging in an online course, but by checking announcements in Canvas daily, knowing how to contact your instructor or TA (and actually doing so), putting your exam dates and times in your phone calendar, and troubleshooting and testing your machine before your first exam, you’ll be more prepared for the course

  1. Plan to submit assignments early

You should build in a cushion for potential tech and internet issues. Electronic assignments typically close exactly when they say they will. Turning in assignments even just 30 seconds late is usually not possible.

  1. Keep in mind all online classes are different (just as all in-person classes are different)

Read the syllabus and make sure you know and abide by each instructor’s expectations. Send a professional, courteous email if anything is unclear; remember – you must initiate communication and ask questions. 

See more tips from Warrington faculty as well as examples of their online teaching in this story featuring Dr. Shubho Bandyopadhyay, Dr. Judy Scully Callahan, Dr. Aditi Mukherjee and Dr. Michael Schadewald.