How to be a successful online student

In order to be successful in an online class, there are a few things you must have.

  1. You need a basic understanding of how to use the computer and the internet. In addition to knowing how to use e-mail and messaging services, you will need the following:
    • You need to be in the regular habit of checking your e-mail--minimally three times a day (morning, daytime, nighttime).
    • Know how to browse and attach documents to e-mails and/or workspaces.
    • Be able to download and use more than one internet browser (particularly Firefox).
    • You need to know how to download and install additional (free) programs which may help you communicate and/or complete your work. i.e. Skype, Flash add on, Windows Live, etc.
    • Know how to add people to your safe senders list.
    • Be able to play various media formats (flash, mp3, mp4, etc.)
    • Know how to use search engines.
  2. You need to have good time management skills: Every college student is better off with good time management skills, but it is particularly important for an online student. 8 week intensive courses can quickly overwhelm students who do do not manage their time well. An 8 week intensive course is equivalent to taking two traditional classes concurrently. This means most students need about 15-20 hours a week to complete course work! Many students choose to do the bulk of their work on the weekends, but most classes have items that need time during the week days as well. Setting time aside for work periodically throughout the week as well as the weekend lessens the likelihood of receiving late penalties, puts less pressure on the weekends, and improves overall learning and retention. Addtionally, although there are not set times to meet (like in the traditional classroom setting), CCCB does have an online attendance policy. Students are expected to keep up with their work or be in danger of failing a class due to "Excessive Absences."
  3. You need to have reliable high speed internet access at all times.  Dial-up simply will not do (using your 3g phone data plan is also adivised against if it is your only source of internet).  There are media files in some of the online courses that will not play well, or at all, on dial up connections. Also, if your access is not reliable it is easy to fall behind and become overwhelmed due to the short duration of the classes.