10 Tips for Success in Online Classes

a students sits at a bench with a loptop open

Online college students have busy schedules. They balance their courses, their professional work lives, and even family or other social obligations. Finding time to study in between all of their other commitments can be pretty challenging.

Students taking courses through UACCM are often working full-time while earning their degree. Making it all work isn’t easy, but balancing classes and work is possible. Here are some strategies and tips from UACCM faculty members to consider to help you successfully navigate online learning.

1. Computer literacy is key

Computer literacy includes, but is not limited to, the following skills: downloading, printing, unzipping files, blocking pop-ups, saving and uploading and attaching documents, e-mailing, navigating the web, operating Windows, utilizing Office 365, and using netiquette. 


2.Make arrangements for a strong internet signal

Students should have strong, reliable Internet access.  Instructors will not accept computer malfunction as an excuse for late work, so students should have access to another computer and alternate Internet access in case their primary computer fails. There are computers available on campus in Academic Commons.  All technology concerns should be directed to the UACCM Help Center: Library Complex Room 103, 501-208-5312, HelpCenter@uaccm.edu.


3. Consult UACCM's technology requirements

Devices can be PCs or Macs and must have a keyboard and webcam. Chromebooks, tablets, and other mobile devices do not meet course requirements.

To explore UACCM's technology requirements, go here.  

4. Be familiar with Blackboard

Students have several training options to help them become familiar with Blackboard: the sample course on the Blackboard Community page, the Help icon in every Blackboard course shell, or the Youtube.com Blackboard instructional channel.


5. Reading is just as important as watching a video

Some online courses require more reading than traditional courses because the information presented in assigned reading is not always reinforced by a lecture. Online courses may not be the best option for students who struggle with reading comprehension.


6. Set a schedule for completing and reviewing assignments

Students in an online course will spend the hours they would be in a traditional class reading and studying material on Blackboard. Students should expect to spend an additional two to three hours per credit hour working on assignments and studying to be successful.  Therefore, students should spend approximately 9-12 hours per week on a three-hour, online course. 


7. Manage your time wisely

Access your course on day one of the semester.  Keeping track of due dates, updates, and grades is much easier if you are present in the online course often. Avoid waiting until the due date to try to do a week (or more) worth of work.  Schedule regular times during the week to work on the course just as you would if you were in a tradition classroom.


8. Participate

Most instructors will require posts to the discussion forum. Interacting with classmates makes the class more fun and the material more understandable.  Shy students may feel more comfortable participating in an online format.  Sometimes, a classmate may be able to answer a question for you more quickly or give you a different perspective on the material.    


9. Communicate with the instructor

Instructors are there to help you succeed and are present in online courses.  Don’t hesitate to email, call, or stop by an instructor’s office hours if you need help or have questions.  Be sure to read and apply any feedback the instructor gives you. Make sure you always communicate through your campus email and always include a subject line.


10. Use additional resources

Academic Commons can provide help with research and computer skills.  Additionally, there are free tutors to assist students with math and writing assignments. Read and re-read the syllabus. Use the calendar and course outline.



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