Now that you have everything set up, let’s talk about some ways to be successful in your online course.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for students taking online courses?
TIME MANAGEMENT & PROCRASTINATION
While this is a common problem for all college students, it is particularly difficult for students in online courses. Because a student taking a course online doesn’t have to physically attend a class, it is easy to put off the work that is required to keep up.
Below are some things you can do to keep up with your online course and not fall behind.
1. ATTEND YOUR COURSE REGULARLY
One of the most important things you can do is “Attend” your online course by scheduling a regular time for it. Treat your online course like an on-campus course that you have to be present for at a specific time each week. Schedule this time and stick to it!
2. ALLOT ENOUGH TIME
Be realistic about how much time you need to devote to each of your classes. Allow ample time for all of your coursework. In a regular length semester, courses require at least 3 hours each week per credit hour. What does this mean?
For a 3 Credit Course you can expect to spend at least this amount of time per week:
16 Week Semester
8 Week Semester
4 Week Semester
3. STAY ORGANIZED
Create and keep a calendar for your course work. Your instructor will provide a schedule of due dates for assignments; record these deadlines on your calendar.
4. PLAN FOR THE WORST
Inevitably an emergency, a computer glitch, or some other kind of problem that keeps you from getting your work in on time will occur.
What can you do?
- Stay ahead. Turn things in before they are due.
- Back up your work so that nothing gets lost! It is a terrible feeling to complete an assignment, only to have to do it again because you didn’t back it up! A good way to back up assignments is to use a cloud service such as: Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Communicating effectively is extremely important to doing well in your online course. Keep in mind that class communications are more formal than texting or conversing with your friends. When emailing your instructor or another student:
- State the class and section in which you are enrolled.
- Be sure to respectfully address your course instructor – check your syllabus for the way they refer to themselves.
- Use appropriate language, spelling, and grammar (do not use texting short cuts).
- Communicate in a respectful manner.
Software and Equipment
You may need specific software or apps in order to complete a variety of assignments. These may include:
- Word Processing
- PowerPoint/Slide Presentations
- PDF Viewers
- Video Presentations
Below are several apps for creating and submitting assignments:
EQUIPMENT: VIDEOS AND CONFERENCING
Some courses may assign video presentations or require you to participate in video conferences (such as Zoom). If this is the case, you may need a webcam or microphone to complete your course. The course syllabus should have this information listed for you.
- Creating videos: In terms of creating videos and presentations you have many options. Please visit the Video Presentation Resource page to find out more about creating presentations (including resources and helpful tips): Video Presentation Resources.
- Zoom Help: For assistance with Zoom please use the following guide: Zoom Student Guide
Discussions will likely be a large part of your online course. Online discussions provide an opportunity to engage with the other students in your class and your instructor. There are a few things to keep in mind as you participate in discussions:
- Always proofread before submitting your contribution. Many instructors deduct points for misspellings, grammatical errors, and poor writing. Prepare your discussion response in Word, Google Docs, etc. and then copy it into Canvas.
- The written word can easily be misconstrued; provide sufficient detail to communicate your meaning and choose your language carefully.
- Make use of the discussion board tools to enhance your posts with images, video, or links to outside resources.
- Learn your fellow students’ names and use them. Not only does this help appropriately direct your comments, but it brings an added dimension of camaraderie to the discussion.
How do I reply to a discussion as a student?
How do I embed an image in a discussion reply as a student?
How do I embed iFrame videos using the Rich Content Editor as an instructor or student?
Submitting assignments in Canvas is easy. Click on the Assignments tool in the left navigation and then locate your assignment from the list. If the class you are taking does not have a link to Assignments in the main navigation click the Modules page and locate a link to your assignment there.
All assignments should be submitted as PDF or Word docs, unless requested otherwise. If you are not using Microsoft Word to write your papers, you can still save pages as .doc or .pdf.
How to submit an online assignment
Feedback and Grades
You can locate your grades by clicking on the “Grades” tool in the left navigation. By clicking on the assignment title in Grades you can access any feedback your instructor left including the following:
- Written comments
- Annotated feedback (click “View Feedback”)
- Assignment rubric (click “Show Rubric”)
- Turnitin Similarity Score
Review the guides below to make sure you understand how to locate feedback on your assignments so that you don’t miss out on your instructor’s input!