Online Classes — Tips for Success

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Many students think that online classes will be easy but the truth is online classes require significant discipline, focus and at a minimum, the same amount of time and effort as a face-to-face class.

Make sure you have access to the technology required for online classes and allow extra time for unexpected technology glitches.

  • A computer & a stable and reliable internet connection
  • Microsoft Office or Google Docs
  • You may be told to use a specific browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Check your SCHOOL email early and often for information from your instructors. Read all notifications, be patient, try to understand that this is unchartered territory for all.

IMPT: What time will my online class meet? Depending on your college and the instructor your online class may be held at the regularly scheduled class time – this is Synchronized learning, everyone is online at the same time in a virtual classroom. Asynchronous learning is logging into a portal and doing the work within a timeframe, students may watch a video or PowerPoint presentation, you interact with each other and the instructor by writing and responding to each other’s posts.

  • If your class is asynchronous, log into the class portal a minimum of four times a week. Set up notifications so you are alerted by text or email when something has been posted for your class – if you are not sure how to do this, check your syllabus, contact the tech helpline or ask your instructor. Accessing the course material is your responsibility as a student.

Video Chat – you may need to download ZOOM to participate in video chats – it’s free you’ll be sent directions by the instructor/college if it is required.

If you’re reading PDFs or PowerPoint slides online, learn how to highlight information and make notes in the ‘margin.’ (you can do this, don’t stress – you’re learning new skills that are required in the workplace)

Spend at least 1 hour of study time for each credit – a 3-credit class, study at least 3 hours per week.

Read EVERYTHING that is assigned! Do not skip readings and go straight to the assignment.

Keep a written calendar of due dates for assignments and submit all assignments on time.

Stay connected to classmates, share your strategies and support each other.

Ask questions!!! Do not be afraid to ask for help. Don’t wait until the last minute to reach out. Online learning may feel overwhelming but your instructor, classmates, and online help resources can answer almost any question you may have.

Discussion Board — if you are required to post and reply to your classmates do it as soon as the new week/assignment/question is posted, do not wait or no one will reply to your post and it may affect your participation grade.

Last, but not least, follow the same guidelines for academic integrity in an online class as you do in a face-to-face class. Cheating, plagiarism, assisting others in cheating or plagiarism are serious offenses and can cost you the class.

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