Success in online courses requires a shift in focus. This site provides materials to help you be successful in the online environment.
Orientation to Online Learning: check out this resource from UNC System about success in the online classroom, especially if you are new to online classes!
Tips for Success
Treat course as a REAL course.
- Set regular "meeting" times, regardless of if the class is synchronous or asynchronous.
- "Attend" class during those times- don't skip!
- Complete all of your assigned work on time.
- Participate in class discussions.
- Ask questions if you are confused or have not worked with a particular online tool.
- Keep in contact with your professor and let them know about any issues. Do not wait until the last minute to reach out!
Set the stage (video tutorial here)
- Study location
- Lighting- good enough so not causing eye strain
- Temperature- cool, not cold, temperature can help with focus
- Organization- Have all of your materials available
- Eliminate distractions
- Avoid social media
- Forest: Curb your phone attachment by planting a seed in Forest and watching it grow. If you relapse, you’ll destroy the tree! Forest - Stay focused, be present
- Use a computer program to lock your computer.
- SelfControl: restricts access to selected websites for preset times (Mac) SelfControl app
- StayFocusd : restricts access to selected websites for preset times (Chrome) StayFocusd
- Cold Turkey : restricts access to selected apps, websites for preset times (Mac,PC) Cold Turkey - The Toughest Website Blocker on the Internet
- Avoid social media
- Consider the time of day
- When are you most focused?
- When will you have time to complete the tasks?
- When will you have better access to distraction-free environment?
Use appropriate "Netiquette"
- Remember the human. Though there is the feeling of anonymity in the online environment, remembering that a human being is on the other side of any message you send can help promote more positive interactions, benefitting everyone in the online environment.
- Write down all due dates in a calendar.
- Use this "Semester at a glance", Google Calendar, or your own planner.
- Be strict with yourself on deadlines- don't allow them to slip up on you!
- Start on all readings and assignments right away, and whittle away at them.
- Create a study plan
- Set weekly goals- This keeps you focused on what you need to accomplish.
- Consider using this form to help you stay on track.
- Plan out dedicated study times- set aside 2-3 different appointments per week to work on course material for EACH COURSE.
- Complete this weekly grid to set up times, or
- Use Google Calendar to complete this plan (video tutorial)
- Plan to take breaks
- Be assertive in protecting your study time. Tell friends and family that you will be available when you are done.
- If your schedule permits, work on your studies earlier in the day. Most students are more productive earlier in the day, and this arrangement can help you avoid procrastination.
- Struggling staying on task? Need assistance making a plan? Meet virtually with an academic coach!
- Efficient Reading Strategies- Review this short tutorial about how to make the most of your reading.
- Use technology tools to help
- Highlighting tools in Google Docs, OneNote, etc.
- Commenting tools in Google Docs, Word, etc.
- To prevent distractions, use available apps to help (see "Set the Stage").
- When needed, print online readings and highlight, take notes, and annotate as usual.
- Use this only for those readings that are MOST important.
- Find an accountability partner
- Use music
- Take frequent breaks- our brains are not wired to extended periods of sustained attention. Breaks help us stay fresh and better able to focus.
- Remind yourself of the WHY- we sometimes forget WHY we are doing this. Taking a moment to remember this can help reenergize you.
- Stay healthy- take care of yourself
- Just get started- we can make ourselves believe that an activity is going to be awful and will avoid it. The act of getting started is often the hardest part.
- Use the 5-minute rule- set a timer for 5 minutes and get started on the work. Chances are, by the end of the 5 minutes, you will be engaged and won't need to stop.
General Study Tips
- Use the Study Cycle (for more information, see video tutorial)
You can find tips for effective study sessions on this website.
What if I don’t understand something?
- ASK QUESTIONS!
- Contact your professor
- Contact classmates
- Use online resources- you can often find the same concept explained in different ways that will make sense to you.
- Use campus resources!
- Not sure about how to do something in AsULearn? Check out the AsULearn Student Support page for answers to most questions.
- Much of the content on AsULearn can be downloaded for use offline. This can be helpful in situations where consistent connectivity is an issue.
- Don't forget about the mobile app, available as a free download in the App Store and in Google Play. For information about how to download and use the app, see the AsULearn Mobile App Support Page.
- For additional support, 828-262-6266, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by entering a support request at support.appstate.edu/help.