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Online Classes

5 Ways to Improve your Grades in Online Classes

The digital classroom definitely has its advantages—students can check in any time day or night to ask questions, participate in discussions and submit coursework. Online content modules also make course notes more accessible than just jotting down shorthand during live lectures.

Here are five ways students can improve their grades in online classes.

Log in often

Students should dedicate a specific amount of time at least three days each week to engaging in their online course. During this time, it is important to read newsfeed updates and course content, review deadlines, submit assignments and engage in discussion forums. By actively participating in the digital classroom, students are less likely to miss new material and assignment deadlines.

Employ netiquette

Participation in online discussions is an important component of online learning, and so is how students communicate. Internet etiquette—netiquette—is how information is presented digitally. It is important to address instructors and peers appropriately, use a professional tone, maintain courtesy and respect for others and their ideas and avoid curse words and over-sharing personal information.

Online classrooms are diverse learning environments. Another important element of netiquette is avoiding use of slang terms, cliché or proverbial statements and other language that can isolate students of different countries and cultures. Bright colors and ornate fonts should also be avoided to maintain professionalism and illustrate mindfulness of others’ reading preferences.

Incorporate content

In addition to textbooks, instructors post materials in the newsfeed or content section of online classrooms. Read the articles, watch any videos or presentations included and cite these sources in assignments and discussion posts. Not only will this practice improve discussion grades, but active engagement with the material will also increase understanding of the subject and possibly improve quiz and exam scores.

Meet assignment deadlines

Submitting assignments, completing quizzes or exams and replying to discussion prompts on time are critical to course grades. Watch Continuing & Distance Education’s "Overcoming Procrastination" video and other student success videos to hone study and organizational habits, stress-management techniques and group work skills.

If instructions or due dates are unclear, ask questions! Instructors are the best resources for course success, and they expect students to reach out. 

Check SDSU email regularly

SD State Online students all have an @jacks.sdstate.edu email account. This is the address to which SDSU staff and faculty may send important information regarding enrollment, financial aid, course updates and other university-related communications.

This email account also allows students to utilize Office 365 for group project collaboration, keep a personal address book, organize schedules using the calendar feature and save important documents, pictures, messages and contacts with unlimited amounts of storage. Students can continue to use Jacks email even after graduation, as long as the account remains active. For activation instructions, click here.

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