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Any professor that teaches an online course can tell you that online courses are meant to be only just as engaging and challenging as regular on-campus classes. However, a lot of people find them harder than on-campus classes because they don’t treat the online course with the same vigor and respect that on-campus classes get. Here’s 5 tips to stay on top of your game (without having to leave the house!):

1. Stay on top of readings

This is an online course, so if you don’t do the readings and just wing the quizzes no one will know. However, when it comes time for the midterm and the final exam, when you can’t just wing it, you’re going to be in trouble. Make it a point to do the readings, review the posted content, and then do the quizzes. This’ll make you actually learn the material and reinforce it in your mind. This way, when it comes time for an exam, you’ll be ready and won’t need to study as much!

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2. Follow the suggested timeline

Tying in with #1, follow the suggested timeline of when you should be covering what topics. The professor of the course most likely has years of experience and you should trust their wisdom on how much time is needed to understand every topic. But of course, if you have more trouble with one section than another, by all means spend more time on it! Overall, just stay on top of your work and don’t let yourself fall behind. (you’ll thank yourself later)

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3. Don’t be afraid to ask the prof or TA questions

It’s totally understandable to be nervous to approach the professor or TA with questions – especially when you have to look at their expressions as you ask. With online courses, you don’t have that problem! First of all, professors and TA’s are literally in the business of answering your questions so – don’t worry – they’re not judging you. Secondly, even if they are, it doesn’t matter because for online courses you can do the entire exchange over email! Also, most professors and TA’s have on campus office hours if you do want to go talk to them in person.

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4. Actively participate in discussions

In any business based course, class participation and discussions are a major component. AFM131 online is no different except that the discussions and participation is all online! Actively partaking in these discussions will help you get to know your peers, reinforce your ability to apply the concepts you’ve learned, and give your superiors a good impression of you!

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5. Study as if it were an on-campus course

Online courses deserve all the respect and attention that on campus courses get. Be just as vigilant with your studying and just ask active in your participation. The only difference is if you take these classes in your pajamas, no one will know or care.

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Look, online courses are great. You get all of the knowledge and none of the stress of putting on pants, and who doesn’t love that? As long as you follow these five tips, you’re gonna do great!


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Shafa Rizwan

I'm a first year student at the University of Waterloo in the Science and Business program!


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