Tips for Online Success

Familiarize yourself with the course requirements.

  • Read the syllabus
  • Make sure you understand course objectives, what will be covered, and when assignments are due.

Take Responsibility

  • Even though you don't see your fellow classmates and instructor - you are still in school.  You need to take online courses as seriously as you would any traditional class.
  • Communicate with your instructor.  If you are struggling, make sure they know right away so they can get you the help you need.

Set Goals

  • Set simple goals: logging in once a day to check message boards and announcements or starting assignments the day after they are posted or setting aside uninterrupted time to study.
  • Stick to your goals -- soon they will become part of your routine.


  • There is no face-to-face interaction in online classes.  You need to be proactive.  Join chat sessions, post messages in discussion boards, and email your teacher or other students.


  • "Studying" includes many different tasks -- print online reading so you can highlight and take notes on it, review lecture and reading material more than once, and complete all homework.

Apply what you've learned

  • You retain more of what you learned if you apply it in your real life right away - whether that is at home or at work.
  • Do this by talking to peers and supervisors about what you've learned, as well as actually using the skills.  Pretend you will have to teach someone else to apply the material and skills you are learning, you will look at the material in a new way.