How to be successful

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How to be successful

There can be a great amount of freedom and flexibility in an online learning environment. Whenever there is an internet connection, you can access your class 24 hours a day. It is important to remember that online and hybrid class have due dates and most operate within the quarter time line. It is important to be pro-active and login your Canvas course on the first day of the quarter and read the syllabus to learn about the course requirements

Succeeding in an online environment takes a commitment to be pro-active, a willingness to be disciplined and motivated to study and manage your time.We have complied some tips for succeeding as an online student.

Online learning and online environment can be stressful. Learning how to deal with stress would be an essential skill for student, not only in learning but also in life. Successfully handling stress will help student to focus better in class and to have a healthier life.

Tips for Students Completing the Quarter Online

  • Set daily goals. Start study blocks with a beginning and an end in mind
  • Chunk assignments into smaller doable parts; especially complex assignments with multiple components
  • Specify your study goals - Create a to do list for each class
  • Be very specific with the goals (within this 50 mins period, I will create notes for class XYZ.) or (during study block, I will complete X number of questions.)
  • Set reasonable standards and expectations to manage productivity
  • Keep your goals at the forefront – make adjustments if you are finding you are not meeting your goals even after being specific and concrete
  • Track completion of your goals / class assignments
  • Use e-tutoring and ask for help from teachers, classmates or other online resources
  • Set deadlines that are earlier than the instructors’ deadline, to help with time management
  • Take regular breaks (10-15 mins between study times)
    Plan meals / snack intermittently while studying
  • Set rewards for completing your goals

Resources for Stress Management

Online learning and online environment can be stressful. Learning how to deal with stress would be an essential skill for student, not only in learning but also in life. Successfully handling stress will help student to focus better in class and to have a healthier life.

In an online educational environment, you are probably going to do more reading than listening. You may do some of your reading in printed form, an assigned novel or textbook, but some of it might also be online in the form of a webpage. Reading online is not the same as reading in print, so you should practice some strategies that will improve your online reading comprehension and speed.

  • When you read something that has been printed by a reputable publishing house, you can assume that the work is authoritative. The author had to be vetted by a publishing house and multiple editors. When you read something online, it might have been written or posted by anybody. This means that you have to seriously evaluate the authority of the information you are reading. Pay attention to who was writing what you are reading—can you identify the author? What are his or her credentials?
  • In the print world, texts may include pictures, graphics, or other visual elements to supplement the author’s writing. In the digital realm, this supplementary material might also include hyperlinks, audio, and video, as well. This will fundamentally change the reading experience for you because online reading can be interactive in a way that a print book cannot. An online environment allows you to work and play with content rather than passively absorbing it.
  • When you read in print, you generally read sequentially, from the first word to the last. Maybe you will flip to an index or refer to a footnote, but otherwise the way you read is fairly consistent and straightforward. Online, however, you can be led quickly into an entirely new area of reading by clicking on links or related content.

Why, What, How?

Now that you have heard about how reading online differs from reading print, you should know that this has some practical consequences for reading comprehension—how to understand and apply what you are reading. Improving your online reading comprehension will save you time and frustration when you work on your assignments. You will be able to understand your course subject matter better, and your performance on your quizzes and exams will improve.

What are the “why, what, and how” of reading comprehension?

When you keep the “why, what and how” of reading comprehension in the forefront of your mind while reading, your understanding of the material will improve drastically. It will only take a few minutes but it will not only help you remember what you have read, but also structure any notes that you might want to take.

  •  “Why am I being asked to read this passage?”

In other words, what are the instructions my professor has given me?

  • “What am I supposed to get out of this passage?”

That is, what are the main concerns, questions, and points of the text? What do you need to remember for class?

  • “How will I remember what I just read?”

In most cases, this means taking notes and defining key terms.


Here are a few quick tips on how to avoid distractions when reading online.

  • To read more quickly and efficiently online, try to avoid distractions like ads, pop-ups, or hyperlinks that will lead you away from your assignment.
  • Another tactic you can try is to scan the page before actually reading, focusing on key words and phrases rather than every single word.

Many students take online classes because they have busy lives and work schedules. Though online classes allow for a great degree of flexibility and mobility, it is very important to manage your time wisely in order to be successful in a fully online environment.

Schedule time slots during the week that will be devoted to completing your online activities and assignments. Since online classes usually require more reading and writing than regular face-to-face classes, we advise you to create a schedule for each class you are taking. Your schedule may vary depending on the course you are taking. So pull out your syllabus and try to determine the rhythm of the class by looking at the following factors:

  • Read the syllabus. Most online classes have assignments with the submission due dates and deadlines. Online course may also require you participate in projects, research assignments, and webinars, so make sure you read your course syllabus on the very first day of class to familiarize yourself with the course requirements.
  • How much reading does this class entail?
  • How often does your instructor expect discussion board contributions?
  • When are initial discussion board contributions due?
  • When are your exams and tests scheduled?
  • Are there assignments and papers? When are those due?
  • Are there any group or collaborative assignments? You will want to pay particular attention to the timing of any assignments that require you to work with others. They may take a longer time to complete when you are learning online because it can be more complicated to schedule times to get together.
  • Do not procrastinate! If you have an assignment that has a due date, login your course ahead of time to review all requirements and guidelines.
  • Ask questions! If you have questions about a particular assignment, it is important that you contact your instructor in advance to clarify your questions. Due dates and course, policies will vary depending on a course you are taking. So review your course syllabus as specific course policies are usually outlined in the syllabus.

Students now take online courses using a wide range of devices, from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets. You may choose to do your schoolwork on one or more of these devices—it’s really about finding out which form of hardware best suits both your needs as a student and the requirements of the course. Your course may have some very specific technology requirements as well. So read your course syllabus as specific course technology guidelines are usually posted in the syllabus.

  • If you struggle with a technical issue while taking your course, we can help. Read more on this website: Canvas Support
  • Have a backup plan if your technology fails and do not wait until the last minute to submit assignments!

If you experience problems with Canvas, follow these steps to troubleshoot your technical issue:

  • Switch to another browser. We recommend you have several browsers installed on your computer. Read more about which browsers Canvas supports on this website: Browsers Supported by Canvas.
  • If this is not a browser-related issue, it is always a good idea to contact your instructor. Though your instructor may not have technical expertise to solve your problem, they can recommend a good solution.

If your technical issue is still not solved, contact eLearning

Good communication skills are essential in your online course. You will communicate many different ways with your instructor and other students in your class. There are ways to communicate with your fellow students as resources and for support.

Communication Types

There are two types of communication used in an online learning.

  • “Asynchronous communication” is when you, your classmates, and your instructor participate in online discussions at different times, rather than in real time. So if you send your instructor a question via email, participate in an online discussion forum, you are communicating asynchronously.
  •  “Synchronous communication,” happens in real time, like having a class discussion in a traditional setting or talking to a teacher after class. You can communicate synchronously in an online environment too, through the use of tools like:
  • Chat

Canvas has a text-based chat feature that will allow you to exchange messages with others who are online at the same time as you. Sometimes instructors will use the chat feature as a way to hold office hours or a study session. Because chat happens in real time, there is a sense of immediate gratification—you do not have to wait several hours (or more) for a response like you might have to with email.

Zoom and Canvas Conferences

Zoom is video conferencing software applications and designed to support larger groups. They can provide a virtual experience that closely replicates an on-campus classroom. Canvas conferences is integrated in Canvas. In the group feature in Canvas, students have access to use this tool for meeting each other online. Your instructor may decide to use one of these tools to schedule a webinar with the class.

Your computer can truly become a window into a live classroom where students and instructors can interact and collaborate at the same time.

Discussion Boards

The discussion board (also known as a discussion forum) is one of the most popular features in Canvas, and its one place where your asynchronous classroom discussions can occur. Your instructor may post the first message (or prompt) and ask students to reply to their initial post, or they may choose to allow students to post a topic (or thread) and engage the class in the online conversation that way. Both methods are equally effective, and discussions in your online courses are likely to vary, just as if your discussions in a traditional class can differ depending on your instructor and their personal teaching style.

INBOX in Canvas

Canvas calls the inbox “conversations.” It is an internal communication system within Canvas. When you send a message, it will send to the instructors email or student emails listed in Canvas. It is best used for short messaging. It is best not to send large file attachments. Check the course syllabus to check what tool of communication your instructor prefers.