Tips on how to be a successful online student

  • Always plan ahead and stay motivated
    Develop a time-management strategy and keep your goals in mind. Don’t leave your lectures to the last minute! Watch lectures at regular times and don’t make a habit of viewing lectures all at once; you will fail to meet the course requirements and deadlines.
  • Prepare your “viewing” environment
    Finding a ‘viewing’ environment that will help you study better is essential to your success as a CUOL student. For example, at home, do you need to tell your friends to leave the room before viewing your lectures? Do you require silence and a room free of distractions? Since your classroom is your computer, make your ‘viewing’ area conducive to your learning style so you can get the most out of your CUOL course.
  • Create a “viewing” habit
    An effective way to watch a CUOL lecture is to literally close all forms of communication with others, lock your room and view your lecture from start to finish. Usually, if you schedule specific times of the day and designate it as your ‘class’ time as you would if you were attending classes on-campus, you will get into a routine. If you just “fit it in” during your day, chances are that there will never be any time to finish viewing a three-hour lecture. Pay attention to what works for you and repeat this routine each time you study. If it works and you are learning, make it a habit.
  • Communication is key
    Make the most out of online discussions. Make connections with fellow students and be open minded about sharing experiences.
  • Contact your instructor or TA
    Do not hesitate to contact your instructor or TA if you have any questions about the course. Communicate what works for you and what your needs are. You can find contact information for CUOL instructors on cuLearn, course outlines and the CUOL website.
  • Keep up-to-date with your course announcements
    Important course announcements are posted on cuLearn, course websites, Carleton email and the CUOL website. This is crucial, especially if you are a distance (off-campus) student.
  • Taking midterm exams at a distance (off-campus)?
    Try not to “cram” during every spare moment before an exam. Plan ahead and make sure that you know what is required of you for taking off-campus exams. To complete your application for off-campus exams, make sure that you have filled out the application form and submitted it before the published deadline. Find out more about exams for CUOL courses.
  • Missed a lecture?
    The CUOL Student Centre in D299 Loeb provides a free lecture review service through on-site Video on Demand kiosks, and you can also rent an individual lecture online. Find out more about the viewing options available.
  • Want to review course lectures at home?
    Subscribe to the Video on Demand (VOD) service. The VOD service allows you to view your course lectures through the Video On Demand website, and is available seven days a week (24/7). You will need a high-speed Internet connection. On campus, there are viewing stations (computers) available for watching VOD courses in D299 Loeb.
  • Need a course outline for a CUOL course?
    Look for course outlines on cuLearn, the CUOL website, or the appropriate departmental website.