Tips from an Online MBA Student to Her Fellow Rossers On How to Be Successful in a Virtual Learning Environment

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By Evangelia Tzelios, OMBA '22

Shifting from in-person classes to learning from home can be daunting, but it can also be just as productive and engaging as an in-person class! As a member of the first-ever Online MBA program at the Ross School of Business since September, I can attest that online learning can be an incredible experience.

That said, I know online learning may be a new experience for many in the Ross community, so I wanted to share tips that I’ve found helpful during my time in the Online MBA program:

  • Set up the optimal space for learning in your home. Think about if a class is the kind of class where you prefer to type your notes or handwrite your notes. If you are typing, it can be helpful to use a split-screen function, or even a second monitor if you have one, to both watch the class and take your notes. If you are handwriting, work at a desk or table big enough to fit your laptop and your notebook.

  • Speak up just as much as you would in a regular class! Every professor and class will get into its own rhythm pretty quickly of how to call on students and allow them to ask questions in an online classroom. I’ve found that my professors have always made sure all of our voices are heard and all questions are answered during class sessions.

  • Turn your camera on. It’s easier to interact with your classmates, especially in smaller breakout groups, when your camera is on. 

  • Inquire about online office hours. All of our Online MBA classes have offered them, and they have been incredibly helpful.

  • Form a community of your classmates over Slack, email, or text. While you may be unable to chat before and after class in person, you can build a very strong digital community to discuss assignments, classwork, and everyday life. I speak to my classmates at least once a day, even just to say hi or share something funny.

Most importantly, remember that online class is not hugely different from in-person class! If you come prepared and ready to engage in the class, you will get just as much out of an online class as you would out of an in-person class.

Wishing everyone a wonderful second half of the semester!

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Evangelia Tzelios, OMBA '22