By Maha Ansari

Online learning is a convenient option for those unable to commute to campus, but struggling students may mistakenly feel there are few avenues for seeking support. The following resources can help you climb the ladder toward academic excellence, regardless of whether you live on campus or across the country.

1) Your professor

 Visiting your professor during his or her office hours gives you an opportunity to clarify difficult concepts from class. Off-campus students can email their professors for one-on-one-support.  Many instructors are also willing to set up other means of contact for online students, such as skype or big blue button sessions.

2) The library’s research help services

 The Research Help page on MacOdrum Library’s website features a “self-serve” section that contains instructional videos, course guides, and tutorials.

Youtube video screenshot on Writing the Research Paper

One of the many resources on the Library’s Research Help page

 3) Your classmates

 CuLearn contains a feature which allows you to message classmates directly, and many courses also include discussion boards. Reaching out to your fellow students can help you gain new perspectives on course material.

4) Writing Services’ online support

If you’re unable to visit the library for on-campus writing support, Carleton’s Centre for Student Academic Support (CSAS) also offers online appointments. Take advantage of this resource to improve your next essay.

5) A virtual subject coach

 Through the Centre for Student Academic Support, you can attend virtual office hours with a facilitator and a subject coach. The CSAS website contains instructions on how you can enroll in chatrooms to seek academic assistance.

 6) Your textbooks

 Many students feel more inclined to consult Wikipedia than their textbooks. However, given that your textbooks are assigned – and sometimes written – by your professors themselves, the answers to many of your course-related questions lie within their pages.

7) Your notes

 While it can be tempting to make do with your professor’s PowerPoint slides, be sure to take notes while watching lectures. A well-organized set of notes is like a personalized textbook, in which each concept is described in your own words.

 8) Online workshops

 Through the online workshops offered by the CSAS, you can learn valuable tips on note-taking, exam preparation, and more. Visit the Centre for Student Academic Support’s website for information on how to enroll.

 9) Your teaching assistant

Your professor may have designed a difficult course, but it’s your TA who has likely taken and passed the course with flying colours. Thus, your teaching assistant can offer a student’s perspective on how to work through challenging concepts.

 10) A positive mindset

 With so many resources to explore, there’s no reason to lose hope in your ability to succeed. A positive attitude will help you remain productive as you proceed along the path toward academic success.

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