Online Education

Tips for Online Success

  • Explore

    Explore the course delivery systems before the class begins. Navigate the class website and familiarize yourself with the help file, links and various buttons.

  • Don't Procrastinate

    Since you don't have to physically go to class, it's tempting to put off studying until later. This may be the most deadly sin for Internet delivered coursework. Staying current with assignments, readings, projects, etc. is crucial. Falling behind leads to troubles compounding exponentially. Don't wait until the last minute to do your work- when you are rushed and trying to do a lot of things at once on the computer it will most likely lock up on you.

  • Be Assertive

    Speak up; take the initiative, when you are having problems. Ask for help and clarification. Don't wait. Pay attention to detail. Carefully read all information and material provided. As you know, to err is human, but to make really big mistakes it takes a computer. Computers are fast, but not smart. They can't interpret what you meant to say. They can only process what they have been given. Accuracy is important.

  • Buy Textbooks and Other Required Materials

    Reading the textbook and other assigned materials, doing the homework and projects, and "attending" class all lead to better performance and higher achievement. Some material will be provided on-line, other material must be ordered. Be sure to find out what material is needed and how to get it. Do this immediately, because it may take some time for the material to get to you.

  • Develop Good Study Habits

    Select an area that will be free from distractions and interruptions. The distractions of the kitchen and other living spaces are not conducive to good study habits and performance. Try to find a time when family obligations and interruptions will be minimized. It is better if you can have a space where you can leave your materials out and not have to put everything away.

  • Be Self-directed and Self-motivated

    Distance learning students need to be self-directed and self-motivated in their approach to learning. The learner has to assume a greater share of the responsibility for learning that takes place in an online environment. Professors assume the role of facilitator and guide for exploration of a subject and not the dispenser of the information.

  • Cultivate Good Writing Skills

    In the virtual classroom, nearly all communication is written so it is critical that students have the ability to express themselves effectively in writing. How you communicate your ideas is the most crucial element of success in Internet courses. This is the main source of information available to the instructor. There are no non-verbal cues to send or to receive; there are no voice tones or inflections to interpret. In many instances, the instructor knows you only through your written words.

  • Manage Distractions

    It is very easy to get distracted by the "neat" and "fun" sites and to find yourself wandering through cyberspace instead of getting your assignments finished. There are fewer external cues or prompts to return you to the task at hand like in a regular classroom setting. You will be required to preview, study, and review course material without the direct supervision of the professor or the stimulation of classroom interaction.