Student Tips for Academic Success in an Online Environment

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Student Tips for Academic Success.pdf A flyer for students with time management, communication, and study environment tips.

Focus on your time-management

You must be able to manage your time well. Some courses will not be taught in real time, some will. Make sure you know your professors’ class time expectations.

Online learning is a challenge to students who procrastinate, are unable to stick to a routine study schedules, or are not able to complete assignments without daily reminders from a teacher.

Here are some tips for effective time management:

  • Review the revised syllabus for each of your courses. Develop a plan for completing the remainder of your assignments on time.
  • Make a daily "To Do" list. Check things off the list as you complete them.
  • Develop a daily routine with scheduled course time, study time, and free time. Research has shown that students with a structured daily schedule are more successful academically.

Enhance your communication with your professors

Communication skills are vital in online learning because you must seek help when you need it. Faculty are willing to help, but they are unable to pick up on non-verbal cues they usually use in face-to-face courses.

Follow these tips:

  • Determine how your professor would like you to communicate questions. Some prefer e-mail, discussion groups, chat room office hours, or Zoom meetings. If your teacher is offering online office hours, don't be shy about using those tools to communicate and seek help.
  • Check your Canvas Account Notification Settings--adjust to be more frequent.
  • Use professional language in communications. Moving to online courses is likely to cause frustration for both faculty and students. Given the online environment, sometimes people’s communications take on a tone that would not be conveyed in face-to-face interactions. Before sending messages, take a moment to reread your communications to ensure they convey respect and courtesy.

Design a good study environment

A critical component for academic success in an online environment is a healthy learning and study environment.

Here are some tips for a healthy study environment:

  • Ensure connectivity. Have a plan for internet access as well as 2-factor. Consider printing a list of DUO passcodes just in case. 
  • Get some peace and quiet. You will need a quiet place to work without distractions from things like television, family, or roommates.
  • Avoid games. Consider uninstalling any computer games to avoid temptation. Or keep the games on a different computer in the house.
  • Turn off your cell phone. Let friends and family members know the hours that you will be "at" school.
  • Beware surfing the black hole of the Internet. It is easy to lose track of the time as you wander from site to site.
  • Consider ergonomics. Adjust the height of your chair, keyboard, and screen so that you are comfortable. Forearms and thighs should be level and parallel to the floor. Wrists should not be bent while typing.
  • Set up good lighting and comfortable seating. Lighting in the room should be at least as bright as the computer screen to avoid eye strain.