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How to Succeed in an Online Class

How to Succeed in an Online Class


  • Familiarize yourself with the course design.  Learn to navigate around the learning environment.  Find out where assignments are posted and where to look for email from the instructor. Look over the course layout and how the course is broken up over the semester.  If you are having troubles navigating the online environment ask your teacher for help right away.  You don’t want to get behind just because you are looking in the wrong spot.

  • Read the entire course syllabus.  This is important because many time assignments and directions are listed in the syllabus.  In online classes a syllabus is like a study guide taking you through the course step by step.  Don’t just read it once; refer back to it often as the course proceeds.

  • Be realistic.  You will not need to keep a course attendance (unless required by your school) but you will have to do regular academic work.  Assignments will be due throughout the course.  An online course is not something you can put off until the last week – it is a progression of work.

  • Set goals and deadlines for yourself.  Work with your mentor to create a realistic schedule of how you will complete the course.  Set time frames for chapters and units as well as projects.  Sometimes students think there are no deadlines in online classes but that is not the case.  Assignments will be due throughout your course.  A good schedule with goals and deadlines can help you to be more successful.

  • Plan times when you will work on your online course.  Identify study times and stick to those times.  It is a lot easier to make adjustments to your study times when they are planned rather than just counting on fitting it in somewhere during the week.

  • Stay in touch with your instructor.  Keep in regular contact with your instructor.  It is important to keep them informed if you won’t be logging in to the class for a few days.  For instance, if you are going on a class trip or have an athletics event notify your instructor that you will not be logging in for a few days. 


Adapted from TERRA Community College,


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