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7 ways to improve your class performance

by Monica Smith

Oct 27, 2021, 10:00 AM.

Know your resources. Seek help when needed.

Despite the best efforts, we don’t always achieve the results we hope for. Whether it’s a test, paper or project, it can be difficult to bounce back without a plan. However, swift action can help increase your chances to improve your GPA and finish the semester strong. The important thing to remember is “don’t panic,” states Jackie Coello, FIU Online success coach. There are several things online students can do and resources they may access to help, she explains. The following lists seven ways to help improve your class performance.

1. Talk to your professor

Communication is key every semester. Be sure to communicate with your professor at the start of the term and throughout the semester, when needed, or simply to touch base. If students are communicating and seeking guidance, chances are they will succeed in their classes. It is better to reach out beforehand and avoid only communicating at the end of the semester or only if the professor reaches out. Focus on getting to know your professor. Professors are partners in your education. If your performance is not where it should be, work to understand the reasoning. Some professors may offer extra credit opportunities.

2. Speak to your ‘success coach’

All fully online, undergraduate students are assigned a dedicated coach who can help them make a plan for success. Whether it’s speaking to professors or setting goals, success coaches connect fully online students to the university resources they need, states Shequesta Scott, FIU Online success coach.

“Start each week with a list of tasks,” advises Scott. “We can support you in creating a plan A, B, and even a C.”

3. Get tutoring

While no two online learning experiences are the same, there are resources available to those who need support, states Eddie Leon, FIU Online success coach. “We partnered with Smarthinking to offer free tutoring to all undergraduate fully online students,” he notes.

4. Use the FIU writing lab

If you need to improve your grammar or general language mechanics, consider using the FIU’s Center for Excellence in Writing. Online students can easily schedule tutoring sessions with online multilingual tutors, who will help polish your work and provide guidance that you can apply to future assignments.

5. Manage your time

Allow yourself the maximum amount of time to work on assignments. Be aware of deadlines and use your “To Do” list and calendar in Canvas. FIU Canvas help is available, 24/7 if you need assistance in navigating the platform.

6. Find accessible content in Canvas

If you require additional assistance to improve learning, FIU's online learning content offers increased accessibility within the Canvas learning management system. FIU has the following alternative formats enabled: Tagged PDF, HTML, ePUB, Electronic Braille, Audio, and Beeline Reader.

7. Set goals and follow through

Mid-semester is a good time to check your goals and make sure you are on track to meeting them. It also gives you time to change course, if needed.

“Halfway through the semester, stay focused on finishing strong,” states Coello who discusses how to create a plan for success. Consider essential tasks first, she explains, and be flexible in case unforeseen circumstances arise. Break down large tasks into smaller parts and create a task list that you can tackle little by little.

 “Give yourself some grace. If you get off track, don’t beat yourself up, take time to reflect on what happened and consider what you can do to get back on track.

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