Most Common Challenges of Online Courses

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Most of us want to do well academically, but it isn’t always that easy. With so much going on in the world our worlds, business-wise, family-wise, and socially, it is easy to fall off track. And while grinding isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, consistently losing our time and not doing anything productively in that time lost is not what we deserve in our lives. 

With online classes, education has escaped the old world of four-walled classrooms and entered our laptops and smartphones. For many people, doing classwork on these devices is easier and more practical than actually attending a regular campus university. 

As with anything, though, online classes come with their challenges. Here are some problems typically faced by online students.


Online classes offer a lot of flexibility to students, which is great, especially if online students have schedules loaded with work, family, and other responsibilities. The problem is, flexibility often gives way to a feeling like students can get by without doing anything. Professors in online classes aren’t easier on students just because they’re not there in person to chastise them.  

Online classes aren’t going to remind you daily about assignments coming up and how important it is that you put your best foot forward. This has to be known by students prior to their signing up.



Online courses obviously make use of the internet, and as we all know, the internet can be extremely distracting. The majority of the things we do on the web are actually social in nature. You might think you’re great with your laptop, but how much time do you actually spend working on the web and not having fun?

Before signing up for an online class, be sure that you can avoid the common distractions that the web is composed of. Be ready to say no to friends and games.


The purpose of attending these online classes in the first place should be to gain knowledge, right? But what does it mean when our educational material isn’t drilled into us physically, which happens in physical classrooms? Are we more likely to forget the class material and struggle?

Online courses require that students spend a lot of time turning their virtual classroom into a real one in their own lives. Students have to understand that their professors are real, their peers are real, and all their homework and grades are as real as they are in regular classrooms. 

Students cannot drop the ball and pretend that they can get by because taking an online class doesn’t “feel” serious the way regular classes do. Don’t take the gift of online learning — the flexibility — and turn it into a curse. 


If you want to do well in an online class, you have to keep yourself organized and goal-oriented. Remember why you signed up for the class in the first place. Was it to improve your career prospects, or simply to learn more? Even if this class doesn’t mean the world to you, you still have to adapt to the online setting if you want to succeed.