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Tips 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. Take a look over theses tips and be sure to reevaluate yourself as to whether you are ready to commit to succeeding in an online course.

  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, contribute your ideas, perspective and comments on the subject you are studying, and read about those of your classmates.
  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 this class face-to-face.
  7. Locate resources to assist you in being successful in an online course, such as the Online Writing Lab, the Library article databases, or the Content Area Tutoring Center. Check out ISUís Center for Teaching and Learning 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. See WebCT Lesson 0 ( for more information.
  10. If you are unsure of your computer skills, develop them! See below for links to online tutorials that can help you improve your computer skills.

Additional Resources

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