Some tips for students not used to online classes

By Rachel Lyons
Staff Writer

The 2020 spring semester was unpredictable with COVID-19 closing Hutchinson Community College campuses, and moving the remainder of the semester to an online format.

Although the spring semester was uncertain, students have known June classes would be held online.

“With the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt it best to take this approach to allow students and faculty to better make plans. It allows us to market those classes more effectively to prospective students,” said HutchCC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Denny Stoecklein.

No official decision has been made yet regarding summer classes that start in July.

With this move to online classes, students who are unfamiliar with online instruction can be a bit overwhelmed. Here are some tips for success from Boston’s Northeastern University and Minnesota State University.

Be Persistent and Take Initiative.

When taking an online class, the student is responsible for reaching out to the instructor or other resources for help. For HutchCC students, the Writing and Math Labs in Rimmer Learning Resource Center are great places to get help with a paper for English, psychology, economics or extra math help for any class, from basic algebra through calculus.

Keep a Schedule and Manage Your Time

Know when your assignments are due, and keep a schedule of time set aside for each class around work and other obligations. A three-credit-hour class should allow three to four hours per week to ‘spend in class’ completing coursework, and learning the knowledge necessary for the course. Be active in class, through discussion boards and completing assignments promptly.

Have a Good Study Space

Having a designated study space that is tidy, well lit, and stocked with supplies. Keep supplies in this space, or a caddy, if you are unable to have a designated study space. Useful supplies include paper and writing utensils for notetaking, and working problems on paper, a calculator (if necessary), a pink eraser or pencil top eraser caps, and textbooks.

Limit Distractions

Turn off or place your cellphone in a ‘do not disturb’ mode to limit the potential for distractions. On a similar note, use a program such as ‘Self Control’ or ‘Cold Turkey’ to block distracting websites, such as social media or streaming services. Some distractions might be unavoidable, but by eliminating those that you can avoid is one step towards success.

Remember Your Goal

Are you taking a summer class to enhance or refresh your knowledge in an area? Is your goal to reduce your time in school by taking courses over a summer? The end goal you have set for yourself, if prominently displayed or reinforced daily, can motivate you to work hard in a class that may not be an ideal situation.

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