Taking college classes from home is becoming a growing concept. Trying to gain some extra credits over the summer? Are you a commuter? Did you change career paths and want to get your degree quicker? If you answered yes to any of these questions I’m sure you've tried to get some work done from home. Whatever your reason is for doing classes online, On Campus Market (OCM) has the answer to all your college needs.
While working from home is a concept that some love and others hate, it is important to at least try to make it enjoyable. It’s easy to see how people love the zero minute commute and the all you can drink coffee features of working from home. While this might sound quite glamorous to some of us, it can also be very challenging to motivate yourself. Since you are doing work from the place where the majority of your time is spent, it’s important to distinguish work time from chill time. So let’s not do work on the couch with the television on and the dog on your lap - that’s for after hours. OCM has specific products that help make working from home less of a challenge and more of a breeze.
Just because you might be working in your jammies doesn’t mean the work is easy. Trying to get work done at home, college especially, is far from easy. When classes are online, you become responsible for getting all work done on your own time. Needless to say, this can be one heck of a challenge.
Although working from home can be challenging, we are here to help you understand how online classes work. Once that concept is fully explained, we’ll teach you how to get organized. The OCM items introduced will help you decorate and organize your at-home workspace. That way you can complete your work from the comfort of your home.
How do Online Classes Work?
First, let's note that each university has different standards for online instruction. With that being said, it’s also no secret that no two professors are the exact same. Regardless of the university or the professor, remember that there are many forms of online teaching which are all acceptable ways of learning.
The concept of online classes is quite simple. The easiest way to explain how online classes work is by picturing a syllabus from a class you've taken in the past. Most syllabi have a section where it breaks down grading. In those sections, there is normally attendance/participation, homework assignments, and quizzes/exams. This is the exact same for online classes except these three criteria are applied to an online setting. Let’s take a closer look at the criteria.
Attendance and participation tend to go hand and hand. For example, have you ever attended a class but never said a word? If so, how was your participation grade for that course? Some online classes have regular video meetings on a platform like Zoom, whereas others never meet and all work is completed on a platform like Blackboard.
For classes on a video platform, it is typical that the professor will take attendance. That way they know that you are in class and will get points for showing up. But just because you are at your computer with your camera on doesn't get you all the required points. So if there is room for discussion or you know the answer to a question, raise your hand to get some points! This will cover your attendance and participation grade.
For online classes where there are no required video meetings, it’s possible to go through the whole course without knowing what your professor looks like. In this case, attendance doesn't really exist, but participation still does. Some professors view participation points as in completing assignments on time, but others might have mandatory discussion boards. A discussion board is an online place where students share thoughts and questions concerning the class. Sometimes these are required to receive points for participation whereas other professors tell students to use it only if they have specific questions.
Homework is introduced so early on that it is now a basic concept of learning. Remember in kindergarten when you had to get your agenda signed? Did you ever have a big project due and you waited until the last minute to do it? Yeah, that’s homework. In college, homework comes in many forms. Reading a chapter of a textbook, completing a worksheet, and writing a paper are just a few examples.
When homework is to be turned in, professors usually have a place online where you can submit work. If not, some professors ask for you to email it. Either way - as long as you try your best and submit it on time you should receive a decent grade. Although not all homework will be submitted, you should still do it. Homework is a form of practice and we all know the saying “practice makes perfect”. So do your homework assignments regardless of whether they are going to be turned in or not.
No one really enjoys taking tests, but if you do all the work assigned - the test should be a breeze. The hardest part when preparing for a test is knowing that all studying is done on your own time. So if you know a test is coming up, make some room in your schedule to study.
Since these tests will be completed online - professors know that there is no way to truly prevent students from using outside resources. Therefore, most professors allow these tests to be open-note.
If your classes meet on a video platform, sometimes it is required for students to have their camera on while taking a test. But if the class doesn't have regular meetings, there’s a good chance tests will be timed. So make sure to study even if the exam is open-note. Studying before will give you enough time to double-check answers before the time limit is up.
How to Get Organized for Online Classes
Now that you understand how online classes work, it’s time to organize your space. As previously mentioned, you need to be able to tell the difference between work and leisure. That’s why we have some great tips and products you should consider purchasing.
When trying to get work done somehow everything around us becomes a distraction. The easiest way to minimize those distractions is to set up a quiet area to do work. For most college students who don't have the luxury of a home office, their quiet space is typically a desk in their room. But sometimes a messy room is the biggest distraction of them all, so let's discuss how we can organize the room.
A good way to store essential home items like clothes, or blankets is by using a storage trunk. You can find storage trunks in different sizes and colors so it will fit perfectly in any room. Using a trunk still allows you to easily reach those items when needed.
For those who don’t like the idea of using a trunk consider getting an underbed organizer. This way your stuff will be organized but completely out of the way. If you're not completely sold on that item either, there are many other garment and shoe organizers to check out on the website.
Ever find your desk with a mountain of papers on it? Yeah, we’ve been there too. It can be very challenging to complete a long to-do list with a messy desk. That’s why OCM offers the perfect desk organizers.
Get a magazine file to hold notebooks or papers. Or buy yourself a pencil cup so you never misplace your favorite pen ever again. Although these desk items will help you organize your papers, what about remembering important dates? How will you remember when assignments are due and when your final exam is? OCM has you covered too.
There are plenty of message board options out there to help you organize and display all of your assignments. You can finally find your perfect whiteboard or corkboard. Check out this adorable Everest Organization Kit to remember important dates or this traditional whiteboard monthly calendar. We guarantee with these organizational items you’ll never forget an important date again.
After sitting at a desk all day it’s not unusual to be stiff or sore. If you realize yourself feeling like this after every workday, consider purchasing some pillows. Consider your options. From the classic plush pillow to the SNOW Nordic Pillow, there’s a perfect study pillow for everyone -- all you have to do is find it. Also be sure to invest in pillow protectors so you don't have to worry about ruining your pillow if you have a coffee spill or drop a sharpie.
In addition to these pillows, some of us find ourselves doing work in bed if we need a break from our desk. If your bed isn’t very sturdy or comfortable consider getting a new headboard. Don’t forget to add this Power Up Headboard Attachment to your cart. This way whenever your laptop or phone is dying, you can just plug it right into your headboard.
Upgrade your Decor
Last but not least, make sure your space is cozy and somewhere you enjoy being. Consider getting an accent rug, it’s an inexpensive way to add a splash of color to your room. Another way to make your room a bit more cozy is by finding the correct lighting. Additional items you might want to add to make your space a little more “school-like” is purchasing a University Yeti, adding some picture frames, or some brand new bedding.
Now that you know how online classes work and the best OCM products to purchase you’re ready to start classes! If plans change and you decide to take classes in person, you can still purchase these products and use them in your dorm room. Whatever you decide, make sure to take some pictures of your new workspace and post them to Instagram. We love seeing OCM products in use. Hope you love them as much as we do!