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How to Succeed in Your Online Course 


By Marisa Dye, M.S. 


If you are accustomed to face-to-face classes, online learning can be an adjustment. Alumni who have returned to school or who have children in online courses, this is for you. Here are some recommendations to help you adjust and succeed. 

  1. Confirm technical requirements and required resources for your online classes (see announcements or your email for specifics) within the first two or three days of class. 

  1. Create a schedule and manage your time wisely. Before or during the first few days of the course, locate the syllabus and schedule. Input every assignment due date on your own calendar. Add reminder/notifications as needed to help you stay on track. 

  1. Create a routine and block off time for completing course work. For example, if work is due on the same day each week, determine how to fit the time to complete the work into your schedule. In a course with a discussion board post due Friday and a reply to the discussion due Sunday, you would block off two separate times (such as Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning) to complete that assignment around work, activities, family events, and other coursework. Either schedule your homework time for your course(s) each week or set up a repeating calendar event so that you complete the work during the same time each week.  

  1. Stay organized. Decide where to store files related to the course. If you need to access them from multiple computers/devices/locations, consider using cloud-based storage application. You can use OneDrive for free with your email login.  Make a folder for each of your courses in OneDrive and save the syllabusschedule and assignments for each course. 

  1. Have a consistent workspace. Find a quiet place with reliable internet access, gather physical items needed to complete your work, make yourself comfortable, and remove/avoid distractions. Ideally, you'll go to the same place each week to complete your work so that there is no further energy spent on that decision. However, if you have multiple study locations, it can help to keep a list of all items needed for your work and/or keep them all together in a bag you can take with you. 

  1. If you email/message the instructor. Be sure to include the course name and number when beginning communication with your instructor so they know which course you are enrolled in  

  1. Stay healthy! Getting adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise will set you up for success. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor, classmate or advisor if you are feeling overwhelmed. 

  1. Customize notifications.Turn on your notifications for your student email and Blackboard. You don’t want to miss any changes. 

  1. Download relevant apps. Blackboard has a mobile app, for instance. This will help you keep up with your courses wherever you are.  
    Marisa Dye is a 1999 alum. Dye currently works at Oklahoma State University as a Senior Instructional Designer. She is an expert in online learning, with many years of experience in the classroom. She completed her master’s degree program online, save one course.  

Dye is a native of Alva, Okla., but currently resides in north central Oklahoma with her family. 

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