5 Tips For Transitioning to an Online Degree Program

The challenge that the whole world faced in 2024 caused changes in many aspects of our lives, including the way we study. Numerous primary school, high school, and college students have experienced online classes for the first time – along with their teachers. While some took this way of education with great seriousness, others adored the fact that they would be able to attend classes from the comfort of their pajamas, with morning coffee in their hands.

Anyway… as you think about how to turn your room into a classroom, read our tips on how to make this type of transition as easy as possible.

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1. Plan your daily obligations, make a schedule and stick to it

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The first rule to follow is to maintain a responsible attitude towards the online degree program. Most of those who attend the classes will keep in mind that there’s no responsible person in the room who will control their work, which will give them a feeling of freedom and relaxation. Then, the first steps towards poor organization will follow, including snoozing the alarm clock and deviating from the planned schedule.

Once you realize you’re starting to create these bad habits, you must try to get back on track. That’s the only way to successfully complete the course – you simply need to choose one of many strategies to stay motivated and stick to your previously clearly defined routine.

Treat your room like a real school classroom. This means occasional breaks of 5-10 minutes and not going out for coffee with friends if they invite you during class. You need to define your learning time clearly and stick to it. Forget about hitting that ‘snooze’ button and try to stay positive.

2. Create a motivating work atmosphere

The way you feel about your workspace will greatly affect your desire to perform good. So, before the course starts, invest a little of your effort and free time in arranging your new ‘classroom’.

The first thing you’ll do is eliminating the possibility of working on your laptop in bed. We believe that nothing seems more tempting than going back under a warm blanket after the end of the morning routine, but that’ll definitely have a bad effect on your productivity.

Instead, arrange a corner of your home where you’ll be able to organize your online study space. Make sure to add a desk and a solid, ergonomic chair to it, as this way you’ll avoid loss of concentration and a back that aches. Also, don’t bring your mobile phone inside, but leave it silent in the next room. Get the necessary supplies, including notebooks, colored pencils, textbooks, manuals, and colorful sticky notes. Good technical equipment is a must, as well as a stable internet connection so that you can enjoy the lessons without interruption.

If over time you notice that you’re no longer able to stay focused in that space, don’t hesitate to replace it with another one. This’ll help you maintain an optimal level of concentration and refresh your productivity.

3. Connect with fellow students

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Perhaps the biggest problem with online programs that needs to be overcome is loneliness. Students are used to exchanging opinions in classrooms – be it with the professor or their mates, which isn’t so simple in this case – but it definitely isn’t impossible. If it’s easier for you to master the material while consulting with others, you can simply use certain ways to connect with people.

Try to establish communication with others, and maintain it. After all, you are all on the same boat.

You can start by sending an email to the professor or starting a group forum. There are numerous online learning platforms whose role is to bring you together and thus make it easier to absorb the knowledge and get inspired.

Once you get a fellow students’ phone numbers through these communication channels, you can always contact them by texting them or call them to solve problematic lessons together. And well, we shouldn’t forget about social networks, which can be the perfect tool for this purpose.

4. Actively participate in online degree programs

Once you have provided yourself with all the aforementioned necessary working conditions, it’s time to try to stay focused. To ensure maximum productivity, you shouldn’t allow the absence of attention. A great way to stay concetrated is through active participation in the program. We know that the days will come when you’ll only want to smash your head on the table and continue sleeping, and that is understandable. Yet, try to keep the number of those days to a minimum.

Instead, in order to understand the lessons better and ultimately make your learning time pass quickly, it would be best to activate your brain. Think about the lecture and listen carefully. Be involved in discussions, ask for help and clarifications if you need them, and analyze your own and others’ tasks.

With this, you won’t only achieve good success, but you’ll also achieve nice relations with colleagues and professors.

5. Stay motivated

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In such conditions, it can be difficult to stay motivated. Especially when your family is waiting for you in the next room, your friends are waiting for you to come out, the bookmark is in the middle of your favorite book and you can’t wait to find out who the mysterious killer is in that Netflix show.

We understand all the dilemmas you may have, but you have to convince yourself that there’ll be time for all that – later. In fact, the sooner you finish your chores, the sooner you’ll be free to do what you want.

We talk about students all the time, but we often forget about adult people who decided to go back to their university days and start a new course or degree. This type of situation can be quite challenging for them, but the truth is they can stay inspired by choosing a course within a sphere they enjoy learning about.

For example, anyone interested in the MPA area should check out the opportunities offered at https://www.gcu.edu/degree-programs/masters-public-administration-government-policy.

Although it’s not easy to maintain motivation, there are still ways to achieve it. Let these small pleasures be your motivation to finish the classes as successfully and quickly as possible so that you can enjoy your free time later.

Your motivation may be some future goals for which you are attending current courses. Surround yourself with motivational messages, photos, and anything that may encourage you to take a decisive step forward.