Once your online courses are underway, here are ten things you can do to be successful.

Number 1

Stay connected
Take an active role in your learning and stay connected by checking your CMAIL account daily and logging into Brightspace regularly, which you can do using MyCarleton Portal. Use the online environment to interact, collaborate and engage with your instructor and classmates.

Number 2

Reach out
Contact your instructor or a TA if you have any questions or need to clarify something. When emailing your instructor, identify yourself and the course you are in; most instructors teach more than one course so they need some context. Your instructor can offer ideas or solutions if you need additional considerations because of factors (e.g. family needs, slow/low internet capabilities) that impact your ability to complete your work, so be sure to reach out well in advance.

Number 3

Interact with your classmates
One of the best predictors of success in an online course is a student’s level of engagement. Student-to-student interactions — like engaging in group work and using the course’s discussion forum to explore topics or questions — contribute to the learning process.

Number 4

Stay disciplined
Online learning also requires a great deal of discipline. Set a schedule for course work – doing readings, viewing lectures, working on projects and assignments, studying for tests, etc. – and stick to it. Make a list of all the assignments and exams you have to finish and their deadlines, and do not procrastinate.

Number 5

Plan your time
Part of staying disciplined requires properly managing your time. Identify your goals, whether they be academic or personal, and use them to prioritize how you tackle your tasks. You should be prepared to work daily on every class.

Number 6

Maintain a workspace
Keep a consistent study space that is quiet and exclusively yours. Minimize distractions and avoid multitasking because it is counterproductive most of the time.

Number 7

Think ahead, prepare for the unexpected, and don’t give up
It’s possible that you and your instructors will be using unfamiliar technologies and platforms. Review the technical requirements ahead of time, and, if possible, practice in a low-stakes environment. If you hit an issue, keep going! Students who succeed are those who are willing to tolerate technical problems, seek help when needed, and persist through challenges.

Number 8

Be patient
This may be your first time learning online and it might be your instructor’s first time teaching online. The best online learning takes time to develop. Expect some bumps along the way. Please be patient and compassionate if things don’t go right the first time.

Number 9

Take care of your mental health
Schedule self-care into your daily schedule. Call a friend, go for a walk outside, take a bath, or watch an episode of your favourite show. It’s important to carve out some time for yourself, especially when you may be feeling a little more stressed or overwhelmed than normal.

Number 10

Access student support services
Departments are operating remotely and are offering virtual services. For specific information on how to reach different student services offices, hours of operation, and other pertinent information, please visit the Student Service Information website.