Strategies for Online Success

Understand Expectations

Review the class syllabus and any messages from your instructor before the class officially starts. The syllabus is key to understanding your professor's expectations – read it carefully, and be sure to note any key due dates or milestones.

Buy Your Books

The syllabus will let you know what books and other materials you might need for your online course. Be sure to purchase them before the course starts (over the internet, of course), so you are ready to go from the first day.

Manage Your Time

Courses completed online require as much dedication and effort as courses taught in a traditional classroom setting. Time management and discipline are critical to the successful completion of an online course. Set aside time each week to dedicate to your online class. Students will often block out the same days/times each week to master all the concepts and complete all the work assigned.

Commit to the Class

Without the continuity of weekly attendance, there is always a risk of adopting an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality to an eLearning course. It's important to commit to the successful completion of workload – including projects, assignments, reading, and interacting with your classmates and professor. Plan to dedicate as much time to your online course as you would to a course taught on campus. During a regular semester, you will need the same 9 to 12 hours per week that you would spend on a face-to-face class in order to complete the work. If you are taking a concentrated class during the winter or summer terms, that work will be even more compressed.