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Herzing University

Jessica Neddersen

5 Tips to Stand Out and Speak Up in Online Classes

In online schooling, you can’t physically raise your hand or speak up so it can be challenging to set yourself apart from other students. Here are a few simple habits to adopt that can help you stand out in any online course.

Online schooling provides a flexible pathway to achieving your career goals, allowing you to work at your own pace, which makes it an attractive option for many students. In an online environment where you can’t physically raise your hand or speak up, it can be challenging to set yourself apart from other students. Here are a few simple habits to adopt that can help you stand out in your next online course:

1. Be aware of due dates 

As an online student, you can complete your classes and assignments on your own time, but you’re still accountable for your work. You have to keep an eye on due dates. Ensure you’re completing assignments on time by reading the class syllabus – this may outline the structure of the course and help you get a sense of when assignments are due and how they should be turned in.

Your professor might not always announce when something is due, so it can also be helpful to include due dates in an online calendar or a traditional planner. Consider setting reminder notifications in your smartphone a few days in advance to ensure that you have ample time to complete each assignment. If you’re staying on top of assignments and classes, you’re on your way to set yourself apart from other students who might not be putting in the same effort.

2. Stay connected to your classmates and faculty

Although you may never meet members of your class or your professor in person, you can still connect with them online. Look for a social media page or platform that exists for your class to ask questions and study together. For example, Herzing University students have access to Canvas – a learning management system – where they can access Canvas Conversations that work much like an email account. Students can reply and forward messages, send attachments and view all messages from instructors.

Some students might share their email or a Google Doc to exchange class notes or study tips. Faculty may also post their contact information for students to video chat, call or email. To stand out in your class, be proactive. If you have a question or need help, don’t be afraid to reach out and initiate conversations with your faculty and classmates.

3. Ask questions

There is nothing embarrassing about asking questions. It’s okay if you forgot something or need clarification on a topic. If you have a question about something, there’s a good chance another classmate has the same question. If you don’t feel comfortable asking a question during your online class, that’s okay. You can always contact your faculty or another classmate through a private message.

4. Be respectful

It’s okay to challenge another person’s opinion, as long as you do it respectfully. Be aware of how your tone may come across in an online environment. Sometimes when you’re not communicating face-to-face, certain things you say could be taken the wrong way. Avoid using any strong language and keep in mind that although the classroom is online, behaving as though you’re in a physical classroom is still important. Don’t say something you wouldn’t otherwise say in a traditional learning environment.

5. Go the extra mile

You’re a busy student juggling various responsibilities, but sometimes putting in a little extra effort can go a long way in helping you stand out. Participate in online discussions when you can and step out of your comfort zone. This could mean introducing yourself to your classmates or organizing a study session with a group to get to know everyone and share study tips.

Online schooling takes a lot of motivation, organization and dedication, but in the end, all of your hard work will be worth it when you get your degree. Check out Herzing’s online programs to jumpstart your career today!

Learn More About Our Online Programs


* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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