Tips for Success
Online learning may offer great flexibility when it comes to attending school and
taking care of home life. The possibility of completing a degree program at home will
be rewarding and exciting to some, but discouraging and complicated to others.
Because learning at a distance can be quite challenging and many of the benefits of
a traditional classroom will not be available, it is very important that students
develop consistent habits in order to be successful.
Here Are Some DO's & DONT's for Online Learners
- Do assess your educational and career goals before starting an online learning program.
- Do be prepared to commit the time -- anywhere from 4 to 15 hours a week per course. For
a 3 unit course, you are expected to spend at least 9 hours per week on course-related
- Do find a quiet and secluded area (of your house, apartment) to use as a place to study
and complete your coursework so that you don't get interrupted or distracted.
- Do familiarize yourself with the course syllabus and content, even before you register,
to be sure you are ready to master the content online.
- Do know The Rules of Good Netiquette, especially as it relates to email.
- Do develop good online learning habits, such as thinking about your online class every
day and checking your email at least once a day, more often if you are working on
a group project.
- Do plan on using or developing good time-management skills to enable you to balance course
work with your other responsibilities and obligations.
- Do respect the rules of academic honesty and integrity.
- Do take breaks from being online too long; give your eyes a chance to rest.
- Do remember that email is your primary form of communication, therefore you must be clear
and detailed with the information you are sending.
- Don't be intimidated by the lingo and terminology of distance education. Use this Distance Learning Education Glossary from The eLearning Coach to get a handle on all the key terms.
- Don't think you can be anonymous in a distance-learning course; in fact, do expect more
interaction with your professor and your classmates than in traditional university
- Don't be afraid to ask for help if you are having problems with the technology or with the
- Don’t take the courses lightly because they are only online learning courses. Distance education
courses can be just as rigorous, if not more so, as traditional classroom courses.
- Don't expect to be a passive learner; you must be self-directed and self-motivated to succeed.
Do assume your share of the responsibility for learning the course material.
- Don't procrastinate. Procrastination may be the one deadly sin of online learning. Do set
goals and deadlines, and do try and stay current with your readings and class projects.
- Don't get discouraged if distance learning doesn’t work for you; distance education is not
suited for everyone; however, do look into other educational opportunities to achieve
- Don't try to "squeeze in" a Distance Learning class if you don't have time to take a traditional
class. Distance Learning classes require the SAME (or more) amount of time as a traditional