How to Stay Ahead in your Online College Classes

Woman taking an online class on a lapto

Without the traditional structure of a classroom, first time online college students often worry about falling behind. This is a valid concern, especially with asynchronous courses that you may complete on your own time (as opposed to a regular, live online meeting time.)

Here are some tips to keep you from falling behind in your online classes.

1) Get a planner, and follow it.

When we talk to ODUGlobal students and graduates about their secret to success, they almost always say, "make a plan and stick with it." You may use paper, digital resources, or jot things down on your family's wall calendar.

However you plan, you'll find you're most successful when you mark down major assignments, lectures, and exams at the start of the semester. That way you can keep a healthy balance between school, family, and jobs, and know when crunch time is coming.

2) Make friends and study partners in your classes.

Peers are always great for accountability. If you make plans to review notes via online chat with a friend or to help proof each other's work, you're more likely to honor those commitments. Plus, your friends and classmates can also help you understand tricky material, or even be a good sounding board if you're feeling stressed or need help.

3) Stay engaged with your instructor and advisor.

Although he or she may be physically far away, your class professor will be a huge ally in helping you stay on track. They likely have advice and guidelines ready for how much time you should commit to an assignment or exam studying, and that'll help you plan your study time.

Your advisor can help you navigate outside challenges that can get in the way, and advise you on how to get back on track. Never be afraid to seek help from those valuable resources!

4) Create a study routine and stick with it.

You may find that Saturday mornings when you're off of work, your kids are watching cartoons, and it's just you and a cup of coffee, could be a great time to get some reading done. Sometimes, students find they can hit the library or coffee shop on their way home from work for a few hours. Other students squeeze in regular reading time during work.

Once you find what works for you and you can integrate your study routine into a regular part of your week, it won't feel like such a big deal to sail through the semester, prepared and ready to go.

And don't forget, with ODUGlobal you get support from before you apply until after you graduate. We're here for you!

To learn more about our programs and find one that works for you, visit