How to be Successful Online

How to be Successful Online

Online learning can be an exciting and a different way of learning. It provides flexibility in scheduling and a learning environment quite different from the traditional classroom. In an online course, you have more control over your learning timetable. Here are a few tips to consider before starting an online course. Click Here to take an online readiness assessment (hosted by Glendale Community College).

Time Management

The number one cause of failure for students in online classes is procrastination. Set aside uninterrupted time and space to work on your online course. As soon as the course is available, download course documents, particularly the syllabus. Have someone else watch the kids, close your office door.

Write down a schedule and stick to it. Note that the academic deadlines (i.e., last days for adding, dropping, withdrawing, and etc.) are the same for online courses and traditional classroom courses.

Technology: Do you have the right technology skills and tools for learning online?

Occasionally, computers, networks and your Internet service provider will have technical difficulties for a minute, a few hours, or in some cases a day or two. Plan on these things happening on occasion, and give yourself enough flex time in your schedule to work around these planned and unplanned "down times." Be proactive and seek immediate assistance. When in a pinch, computers are always available on-campus and in public libraries. It is always wise to keep a backup copy of all assignments.

Scout out wireless (Wi-Fi) spots nearby. Shops from Starbucks to McDonalds often offer Internet access. If you are working on assignments, save as you go along, but also, email yourself a copy to a personal email address (Google mail, yahoo mail, etc.) that you could access. Having back up of content and assignments and work done so far is essential should technology become unreliable, as in the case of Wi-Fi outages, computer viruses and crashes.

Communication: Ask and get help early.

Learning on your own can be challenging, but help is available. Do not confuse online learning with learning in isolation. Our campus has many different tutoring centers that are free to students.

Communicating with your instructor will be the key to your success. Contact your instructor for help in understanding the material you are studying or use the support built into the course. Faculty and staff are eager to assist you, and want you to have a positive learning experience.

Your instructors will contact you regularly with announcements and information about your course. Check your PV student e-mail account and the Announcements posted in learning management system (Blackboard or Canvas) 2-3 times a week. Students who fail to check these resources miss updated information that is necessary to succeed in the class.

Assignments and Grades

Because your instructor does not physically see you on a regular basis, make sure to stay in contact. Make an appointment to meet your instructor face to face. Make sure to submit assignments on time. Send an email to your instructor on a regular basis letting him/her know how you are progressing on a particular assignment or how you are scheduling your time in order to successfully complete the course. Expect to spend approximately 2 hours of homework for every 1 hour of class time.

First Week Online

  • Be prepared for a rigorous course
  • Read the syllabus
  • Read the assignments
  • Submit assignments on time
  • Actively participate online
  • Be respectful
  • Check email and announcement regularly
  • Ask for help
  • Communicate with the instructor
  • Make learning a priority
  • Set a goal