In truth, there are only three things you need to do to be successful in college...not only in this class.

  • Go to Class
    • This means don't skip class, prioritize your time so you can make it to class, and come to class prepared to an online class this means logging into your course every day.
  • Do your Homework
    • It seems like this one is a "no brainer", but it is the one that often gets neglected. Homework can be reading, graded work, discussions, outside experiences (like Service-Learning). We don't tell you to do this stuff because we don't think you have enough to need to do it in order to learn the material in the class.
  • Ask Questions
    • If you don't understand something, are confused, lost, etc...ask questions. Your teachers are INTO THIS STUFF! We love to talk about it and help people understand what we know! ASK!!

Specific to my classes, which have intensive online parts to them (even the face-to-face classes), you want to consider the following:

  • Read ALL the documents that have been posted in this course. Dedicating about 2-4 hours or so when you first start this class to read everything, take notes, write down questions, email me, and familiarize yourself with the course is going to make a HUGE difference for the rest of the class.
  • Set aside specific times each week to work in the online part of this class. The advantage of online learning and/or using online tools is that you can schedule your work time at any time of day. The disadvantage is that you may tend to put off this work or proctrastinate. If you are taking a class that is totally online you will need to set aside a minimum of 4 hours of dedicated time to each class each week. So take out your schedule and find the time to do this class!
  • Many classes are not really COMPLICATED, but some are COMPLEX. There are a lot of things to read, review, and do, but they are simply laid out in the Syllabus, Calendar, and Content documents. It is vital that you explore the resources made available by your instructor in this course so you know where to find the information you need to be successful in this cousre.
  • Participate in class (do your reading, writing, discussions, quizzes, attend class, etc.) early in the not wait until the end of the week to do your work as it will be frustrating and stressful.
  • ASK QUESTIONS to your instructor and to your fellow students...but remember, your instructor is the BEST resource for important questions about assignments and other expectations in the course.
    • To assist with this communication process, the following Discussion Boards are available within the course all semester:
      • Course Questions (concerning questions about any aspect of the course)
      • Technical Questions (concerning questions about Blackboard and other technical matters)
      • Student Lounge (a gathering place for discussions not related to the course
  • Treat this course like a Part-Time Job. Show up, do the work, do it well, and you will get paid (in this case, a grade). Simple as that. Your grade will be a direct reflection of the effort you put into this class.


Taking a class that is completely delivered online, no class meetings, has special challenges and has the expectation that YOU, the student, will be an active, engaged, and independently motivated class member.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you approach your online courses:

  • Although in an online class your schedule is pretty much your own as you don't have to be in a classroom at any given time, this FREEDOM comes with a PRICE.
  • You need to be very SELF DIRECTING. No one is going to remind you about due dates so you need to find a way to do this yourself. Getting a datebook and using it to organize how you are going to complete this class is the BEST way to help yourself do well.
  • You need to be working in this class nearly every day. Schedule a couple days off from the class instead of scheduling a couple of days IN the class per week. Make the class a priority and do a little work every day and it will not overwhelm you.