6 Ways to Stay Motivated in Online Classes

Going back to college?

Is this your first time taking an online course?  

Having trouble staying motivated since you don't go to class each week?  

Here are some tips to stay motivated and be more successful in your online class.

6 Strategies to Stay Motivated in Online Classes

1. Use a planner so you don't get overwhelmed or miss deadlines.

Missing deadlines can be demotivating.  You can prevent this experience from happening by using a planner.  The planner can be digital or paper-based.  Just use the planner that works for you.

2. Log in everyday.

Students who log in regularly throughout the course tend to do better than those that log in infrequently.  Waiting to log in until the assignment is due often leads to rushed work.  Doing so also deprives your classmates the opportunity to interact and learn from you.

3. Leave a comment each time for a classmate you log in.

Many online classes use discussion boards where the professor or a student will provide a prompt or a post and students have to respond.  If you develop the habit of leaving a comment each time you log in, you will likely enjoy your online learning experience and give your classmates the opportunity to get to know and interact with you.

4. End your comments with a question to encourage replies.

Sometimes it can be demotivating if you leave a comment and no one responds, particularly if interaction is part of the grade.  If you ask a question, people are more likely to interact with you.  That way when you log in, you are more likely to have someone with which to communicate.

5. Use first names in your comments.

If you receive a letter or an email without an introduction (Hi, ___), how does that make you feel.  If you use your classmate's first name in your reply, you will feel like you are making more of a connection with that person and s/he is more likely to feel that you are treating him or her like a real person.  However, don't address your instructor by his or her first name.

6. Engage with your professor and/or classmates in real-time when possible.

Some classes offer group projects and most professors provide office hours where they can be contacted by phone or video chat.  Take advantage of this opportunity to interact.  Online classes are more fun when you get the sense you are communicating with an actual person and not the screen.  With tools like Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, Periscope, Meerkat, and Blab, it's never been easier to make online classes personal and interactive.

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What strategies can you recommend for staying motivated in online classes?


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