General Tips, Skills, and Readiness Tools for Being a Successful Online Student

Taking an online course is very different than taking a traditional face-to-face course and not all students are prepared to be successful in the online environment. Review the following information to be successful in an online course at Idaho State University (ISU):

This Guide Will Help You to:

Identify tips for online learning

  1. Recognize that online courses are NOT any easier than face-to-face classes, and in fact may be harder for some students.

  2. Read over all of the introductory materials and contact the instructor immediately if you have any questions.

  3. Assume an active role in the learning process; whether you are working alone, or in a group. Be open to contributing your ideas and perspective and be willing to comment on the subject you are studying. Also take an interest in what your classmates are saying and be willing to provide feedback to them and share ideas.

  4. Log on to your course every single day, or a minimum of 5-6 days a week. It is very easy to get behind quickly, so stay active in the course.

  5. Manage your time carefully. Schedule at least 2-3 hours per credit each week to work on your course and stick to your schedule. Certain courses may require more time!

  6. Do not procrastinate; follow the course schedule assigned by your instructor. If you need an external source to motivate you to do class work, then consider taking face-to-face classes instead.

  7. Locate resources to assist you in being successful in an online course, such as the ISU University Tutoring Department, the Library article databases, or the Office of Academic Advising. Check out ISU's Student Success Center for these and other resources.

  8. Set aside a private space where you can study where you can work without interruptions.

  9. Make sure that you have the appropriate software and plug-ins necessary for the course. You will, for example, need the Firefox web browser to effectively utilize ISU Moodle-based courses. Moodle is the learning management system used by ISU.

  10. If you are unsure of your computer skills, develop them! See the additional skills resources below to improve your basic computer skills, learn the Firefox web browser, discover Moodle ISU, and learn other useful tools used at ISU.

Determine general skills

In addition to the technology you will need, it is important to consider other skills that will help you be successful in an online course environment. You will be successful if you have strong skills in the following areas:

Planning and setting goals for your own study:

  • Develop study goals

  • Motivate yourself consistently to complete tasks

  • A determination to succeed using all the learning supports provided

Applying appropriate learning strategies:

  • Apply previous knowledge and experience to solve problems and progress

  • Make  optimal use of learning strategies for effective study

  • Monitor the learning process and adapt strategies as needed

Initiating communication and developing networks for learning:

  • Develop collaborative relationships with faculty and other students

  • Create networks of communication and support including faculty and other students

  • Initiate study groups and seek out other support for study

Positive attitude towards learning:

  • Enjoy learning

  • Recognize the role of a student as an active participant

  • Believe you can succeed

Managing your time and other resources:

  • Manage resources effectively - including time, information, media, and technology

  • Manage behaviors and habits for effective learning

  • Use effective time management to meet requirements and deadlines

 Recognize computer and Internet skills

You should be comfortable using your computer online. In addition, you should at least have the following skills:

  • Communicate via email including sending attachments

  • Be comfortable uploading and downloading saved files

  • Use of basic software applications such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint

  • Ability to navigate the Internet using a browser

  • Ability to install software

  • Ability to update your browser

  • Ability to install updates to software and browser plugins

Check Your Technology Skills

Evaluate your readiness for online learning

  1. Online Readiness Self-Assessment

    1. Stanislaus State

    2. University of Arkansas

    3. Modesto Junior College

    4. Montgomery County Community College

  2. Is Distance Learning Right for You?

  3. Is Online Learning Right for You?

  4. Is Online Learning Right for You? (eLearning Industry)

  5. How to take Online Distance Education Classes

  6. What Kind of Computer/Software Will I Need to Take Online Classes?

  7. Key Differences Between Online Learning and Traditional Campus-Based Classes

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This work was created by the Idaho State University Instructional Technology Resource Center and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Article ID: 67428
Mon 11/19/18 2:09 PM
Fri 2/16/24 10:20 AM