Tips for Success

Make online learning a positive experience

  • You should have access to a computer, Internet access, and an Internet e-mail account before the semester begins. See System Requirements for more information.
  • You are responsible for maintaining your own computer. If you experience problems during the semester you can use the computers in the Library or the computer labs on campus to complete assignments.
  • If you have not had much experience with computers or the Internet it might be helpful to take a computer course before you take an online course. Go to the Course Schedules to view class offerings.
  • Purchase textbooks and other course materials before the semester begins. Textbooks can be ordered from the Bookstore by calling 1-660-359-3948, ext. 1506. You will need to provide your Course Number(s) and credit card number (Master Card or Visa) or debit card number as well has shipping address. Textbooks will be shipped via UPS.
  • Log in to your online course as soon as it becomes available — the first day of the semester!
  • READ all course information and the course syllabus — it has important information about class requirements and your responsibilities as a student.
  • Contact your instructor right away to introduce yourself, let them know which online class you are taking, and ask any questions you might have about the class.

Be self-motivated and self-disciplined

  • Submit assignments early to avoid falling behind. It is easy to procrastinate when you don’t have to turn in your work in person.
  • Be prepared to work hard. Don’t make the mistake of thinking an online class is easier than a face-to-face class. Online learning requires the same study skills and a real commitment to be self-motivated and self-disciplined.
  • Commit as much time, if not more time, to your online course as other courses you are taking. You should be willing to spend 9-12 hours a week on your online class. Schedule your “class time” just as if you were physically going to class on campus.
  • In an online class nearly all communication is written. You should feel comfortable expressing your ideas and opinions in writing. Also be considerate of other students’ comments — all students should feel valued to create a positive online learning community!
  • Use the library and other available resources — online learning provides access to a variety of online resources and tools.

Be an active learner

  • Log in to your course a minimum of 3-5 times a week.
  • Read the textbook(s) and complete all assignments in a timely manner.
  • Expect to use critical thinking and problem-solving as part of the learning process. Think your ideas through before responding to online discussions.
  • Keep copies of all materials you submit for grading!
  • Stay in touch with your instructor — ask questions if you don’t understand.
  • Allow a reasonable amount of time for your instructor to respond to e-mail. Most will try to respond as soon as possible or at least within 48 hours.

Ask for help

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your instructor is there to instruct, but unlike a face-to-face class they can’t see if you are confused, bored, or frustrated. Let them know if you do not understand or need clarification.
  • If you have a problem the first person to contact is your instructor. If they can not answer your question, they will direct you to someone who can.
  • If you are interested in tutoring services, contact the Academic Resource Center at 660-359-3948, ext. 1334.
  • Be CONFIDENT and plan for SUCCESS!!