Common Mistakes While Taking Online Classes In College!

Students everywhere are failing out of easy online classes due to simple mistakes! Not anymore! Not on my watch!

Look out for these common mistakes and take action with the following solutions to ensure that online classes make your grades higher, not lower!

Time Management, The Fall of Many

The most common reason students flunk out of online classes is poor time management. They seem to over complicate and shy away from those two words, but in essence it is quite simple!

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

The problem: Not finding the time or not being disciplined to sit down and grind through the online lectures and homework during the day when other tasks seem more important.

Your solution: Schedule it! Make it like any other class! Choose a time every day (or every other day depending on your classes) and sit down for an hour to grind. Make a reminder on your phone to let you know it’s time for class. Stay consistent early on, and go to a specific location every day if you need to, as if the class was being held at that physical location.

Distracted Too Often to Stay Focused

Even after sticking to a schedule, students can quickly get distracted by all the social media notifications, texts and other pop-ups on the screen when the lecture is playing. It happened to me all the time until I finally made some big changes.

Photo by Tim Bennett on Unsplash

The problem: Your computer screen is a non-stop pop-up machine! Social media updates, GroupMe messages, texts and emails stray your attention and seem urgent. We are literally conditioned to check these things when they come.

The solution: The day I finally decided to turn off notifications from social media sources was the day my life changed. It was weird at first, but then I realized how freeing it truly was.

I became a focused, hard-working and unstoppable force…until the emails kept coming.

I was at the wim of all these “urgent” emails, and finally a friend recommended InboxPause. It is a free extension and they have an option for Gmail as well as Outlook. It’s a total productivity hack!

Also, put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” for an hour while you grind. Then, give yourself fifteen minutes at the most to check everything before going back in the dark.

Procrastinating on Assignments and Quizzes

The Problem: Most online classes have weekly assignments where it feels nice to have seven days to complete a short quiz or discussion post. It is easy to put it off until the last minute…until everything else in life suddenly demands your time and attention on that Sunday afternoon/night and you are stuck frantically trying to find the time to learn the material and answer the questions. That is IF you remember the assignment or quiz at all.

Yeah, this is a personal one.

The solution: Work ahead. Period. As soon as you can work on an assignment, DO IT. The more you get ahead, the more freedom you have during the rest of your week and you can enjoy watching Netflix on Sunday night instead of writing an essay assignment until 11:59PM like I did (a few times).

Many online classes will have due dates, but their course content and assignments are all open for you. In this case, grind at twice the speed and work hard to complete as much as you can early in the semester.

You will have more time to focus on other classes, making money, and enjoying life in the second half of the semester, unlike other students who will suddenly have panic attacks and look like zombies as they spend every night in the library before finals.

Treating It Like An Online Class

For whatever reason, a lot of students treat online classes as if they are not as important as their physical classes (me). Then, they spend less effort on the online class that should be an “easy-A” as told to them by their peers. Suddenly they are struggling and have to work extra when their friends are out partying.

Yeah I stopped letting this happen, and you shouldn’t let it happen either.

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

The Problem: Online classes do not feel as important as regular classes because you don’t have to physically go to them. Less important = Less Effort = poor performance.

The Solution: Treat your online class just as importantly as a regular class (if not more since you know it is harder to stay accountable). Make reminders, tackle the online class work BEFORE your other classes, and take control of your grades!

Dominate All Of Your Classes

College is more than just a degree. It’s an experience. Online classes are only one of the many new experiences of college that can either help or hurt you.

Discipline yourself with time management, limit distractions, attack it swiftly and early, and achieve massive success! If you haven’t, definitely check out my Study Tips and Keys To Success posts! It can only help!

Conquer college and dominate your life. I’m here to help!

-Hudson, LikeTheRiver

Let me know if this post helps you or if you additional information by leaving a comment below or emailing me!






  • Edmond Boateng

    This is a great amount of info for students in the online classes world. The breakdown and solutions are exactly what is needed to get the seriousness and dedication to take an online class.

    I do prefer classroom studies because of all the interactions with other students physically but that is my opinion. However, thanks to this I can now look into taking classes online again since work and business doesn’t really give me the needed time.
    Thank you.

    • Hudson

      Thank you! I’m glad you understand the discipline and dedication required for success in an online class! I definitely agree and prefer physical classes, but my University required them and like you said, sometimes they are needed for time constraints.

      Good luck with your endeavors! We never stop learning and growing!

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