Strategies for Success

Because the online learning environment is different than the classroom learning environment, it's important to help students establish strategies for success.

Student Steps for Success
Review these key tips with the students if they have not read them on their own. Emphasize these key points:

Organization
One of the key factors to success in an online course is organization. Assist your students in getting organized. Support the form of organization that works best for the student—electronic or a notebook.

Time management
Taking an online course is a great opportunity for students to learn time management skills, and these skills are essential to success in online courses.

  • Remind your students that while online learning gives them more flexibility, it requires the same commitment as a regular class.
  • If online courses aren't scheduled for a specific period during the school day, help students set up a schedule for getting work done.
  • Make sure students start an online course as close to the start date as possible.
  • Guide students through the orientation process set up by course providers. If the provider doesn't have an orientation, have students go through introductory materials and practice navigating the course system.
  • Have students create a course calendar with teacher- or syllabus-provided due dates. If coursework due dates aren’t apparent, help students create assignment deadlines that conform to the timeline of the course and tell them to share their calendars with their online teachers.
  • Encourage students to work ahead, to the extent that they can, while they are waiting for an assignment to be evaluated.

Communication
Talk to students about the importance of communicating with their online teachers. When students don't hear back from a teacher within a few days of submitting an assignment, encourage them to email or call the teacher.

Tell students to let you know if they are having any communication problems with a teacher, especially if they have experienced unclear feedback.

Study methods.
How a student studies depends on his or her personal style, but proven guidelines will help them study smart. Help students do the following:

  • Recognize the importance of being systematic and organized.
  • Pay attention to the learning objectives for each lesson.
  • Ask for help from online instructor, Mentor, or available tutors if they start to fall behind.
  • Look ahead in the course outline or syllabus to plan for quizzes and exams.