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Being a Successful Student

Being a Successful Student


Online courses require a significant time commitment from students. Students new to online learning tend to underestimate this time commitment significantly. Students who are successful in online courses are highly motivated learners who "schedule" time for their online courses just like a face-to-face course. Find regular times in your weekly schedule to dedicate to this course.



1.  Technology and technology skills:  Be prepared with the proper hardware, software, and skills to maneuver in an online class.  An online orientation is available to online students.  Make use of this tool to help prepare you to be ready when your course begins.

2.  Organization:  Develop a routine at the beginning of the semester.  Address tasks in small pieces to prevent an overwhelming feeling.

3.  Productive Time:  Planning to use the most productive time and mapping out what will be accomplished can foster better productivity. Students benefit most if they are directed in their learning and hold themselves accountable for working productively.

4.  Regular Work:  Student should work regularly, everyday if possible.  Long stretches tend not to be very productive.

5.  Overcoming Obstacles:  Obstacles include –need for help during late hours, hunger, noise, fatigue, or interruptions.  Plan ahead to avoid these situations.

6.  Email Management:  Organize your emails so they do not interrupt your studying.  Turn the notification off during study times, have emails directed to prepared folders.

7.  Multi-tasking:  Open several windows so you can access multiple resources at once. Creating multiple open windows enables the learner to be doing one thing on the computer while the computer is performing another function and thereby multi-task.

8.  Course Objectives:  Students need to be sure they can identify material important to meeting the course objectives.

9. Cooperative Learning:  Study groups can be helpful in learning course content. Share notes and outlines between classmates or create a study group.

10.  Study Opportunities:  Maximize learning opportunities, make learning portable.  Make flashcards to help you study anytime and any place.

11.  Reinforcement:  Make note of your accomplishments. Use check off lists.

12.  Neurological Learning:  Using multiple senses can reinforce and speed learning.  Use methods involving as many senses as possible to strengthen learning.

13.  Planned Progess:  Map the activities of the semester on a calendar. Plan for tests and set deadlines.

14.  Questioning:  Adult learners benefit from taking an active role in their learning by asking

Source:  Northam, S. (October, 2005). Tips for time management with online learning. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 9, (3) [Online]. Available at


Have an Alternative Technology Plan

Every student participating in a Distance Education course is responsible for finding immediate alternate access to a computer with Internet connectivity as a backup for any technical difficulties they may experience. Technical difficulties can include, but are not limited to, problems with a student's computer hardware/software or lack of service by a student's Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Cable Provider. Technical issues do not constitute the extension of an assignment, project, quiz or exam deadline unless agreed upon by the instructor.


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