Online Students Helping Students

On March 30, the University of Georgia transitioned to campus-wide online instruction due to concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. Switching to online courses can pose challenges for some students—here are tips from current and former online students on how to be successful in your online courses.

Online student and Atlanta native, Kathy Lopez, is completing a Pre-Professional Speech Language Pathology certificate and advises students to keep to a strict schedule to ensure they complete their daily tasks. 

“Keeping a schedule will keep you on track, and it is one of the most efficient ways to plan out studying time and deadlines. It often helps to see things written out on paper, and checking things off your schedule and to-do list can serve as motivation to get things done. Try time blocking by blocking off a few hours only for school work or planning a few hours on your schedule to get errands out of the way. When it comes down to it, you want to make the most of your time, and following a schedule will ensure you fit everything into your day. “

Consider using these apps to help you this semester: Evernote, Google Calendar and Todoist

Ashley Reese, MBT ‘18, is a current student who has been enjoying the Master of Business and Technology program and wants future students to know that online classes aren’t to be underestimated.

“My advice to future online students is to be fully committed to the learning process. Realize that online classes are not an easier way to learn but rather just a more convenient way. Actively participate in the virtual classroom sessions and do not be afraid to ask questions. The professors are very active with the students and they have a strong desire to help in any way possible. Lastly, communicate with your classmates. Everyone in the program comes from different backgrounds. Be sure to leverage each other’s skill sets.”

Danielle Smith, BS Special Ed. ‘17, says that time management is the most crucial piece of the puzzle of completing an online degree with UGA.

“My best advice for upcoming online students would be to manage your time wisely! During the time you’re not spending in physical classroom, make sure that you’re out in the real world volunteering, helping in the community, and expanding your realm of knowledge by experiencing as many new things as possible. Sometimes, it might feel like your education is a little bit isolated, but if you make an effort to involve yourself with people who are going to encourage you, strengthen you, and help you succeed in life, then you will really have a better quality education than a student who might be on campus.”

Kali Koppen, M.Ed. Reading Education ‘16, says that to be the best student you can be, you need to put as much as you can into the program.

“I learned so much more than I ever thought I would being in an online program. You definitely get out of it what you put into it. Be dedicated, read the syllabus for each course carefully, and enjoy learning from the comfort of your own couch!”

Finally, Phillip Manville, MIT ‘17, says that you need to use your resources to ensure that you have the best educational experience you can.

“If I had to give advice to future prospective online students, I would tell them to understand that it’s a commitment. Treat it as if you would a class in a traditional setting. Communicate with your instructors frequently so they can understand you and vise versa. Meet your peers and get to know each other all the same. For us, video chat rooms worked tremendously. Above all, do not lose sight of your goals to walk across the stage with your team!”