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UC Answers: How do I get the most out of online classes?

Recent DAAP grad shares tips for how she succeeded in online classes

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/G7m70V46flU?rel=0

Q: What are your academic and professional goals?

Rutledge: Academically, I have always wanted to graduate college with a bachelor of fine arts degree, and this year I have achieved that goal. Professionally, I have wanted to use my photography to help serve others by acting as a catalyst through sharing stories of those whose voices would not otherwise be heard. 

Q: What has your experience with online courses been at UC?

Rutledge: I had taken one online art history course, and this past semester all of my Spring 2020 classes were moved to online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Both in cases of expected and unexpected online experiences, I have been pleasantly surprised with how smoothly these classes have gone. 

Q: What are some of the advantages of taking a course online vs. in-person?

Rutledge: With online courses, you have more freedom and flexibility within your schedule. This not only allows you to adjust your class time to your day-to-day routine with work and other activities outside of school, but also it strengthens your time-management skills. 

Q: What were your expectations before taking online courses, and how did the experience compare to what you expected?

Rutledge: I honestly was a little nervous before my first online class because I knew it was up to me to make sure I was keeping up with my assignments and due dates. Coupled with the fact that I would not be interacting with my professor face-to-face, I thought online courses could be quite challenging. Those fears were quickly dispelled once the classes began. I found that it is not as daunting if I schedule and plan my class time and that you can still very easily contact your professors if problems should arise throughout the semester. 

Q: Have you had a favorite online learning experience, and what made it so positive?

Rutledge: My senior thesis class had student/professor check-ins every week via email. And every couple of weeks, we would have group WebEx video calls with the whole class to keep in touch with everyone. I really enjoyed the fact that we were able to keep up with our classmates and their work despite no longer meeting in person.

Q: Were there any particular professors who took a creative or innovative approach to online learning, and if so, could you describe what made it so?

Rutledge: In my elective Music of Woodstock class, the professor offered a lot of videos, links to playlists and movies for the class to access, making the class interactive and as fun as possible.

Q: What final advice would you give students who want to be successful in an online course?

Rutledge: I have found it helpful to schedule a specific time every day/week (depending on how you work best) as your designated class time. It also helps to find a quiet space with a good internet connection where you can work. You can change the days/spaces according to your schedule as needed, but I have found it to be less overwhelming to generally stick to the same time and place to do your work. Lastly, I would highly recommend to stay in contact with your professors throughout the semester via email or video calls to help stay on track. 

Explore UC Online Options

The University of Cincinnati has robust innovative online opportunities. See for yourself what is available and find more UC Answers to your important questions.