Online Student Success

In a Nutshell...

  • To be a successful online learner, you must become an independent, lifelong learner. 
  • Take responsibility for your own learning process.
  • Stay motivated, organized, and flexible.
  • Develop strong reading and communication skills.
  • Develop a well-paced learning schedule that also allows you time to enjoy life. Stick to that schedule.
  • Embrace "not knowing." Work with your faculty if you have trouble mastering the content.

Read more about the qualities of a successful online student (via Illinois Online Network).

A Word of Warning: "Online" is not the same as "Easy"

The most common misconception about online learning is that it is easier than face-to-face learning. In fact, online learning requires more discipline and may be more difficult for some students than face-to-face courses. Successful online students take control of managing their time and study schedules to ensure they meet course requirements on schedule. 

Another common misconception is that students can complete their weekly requirements on their days off from work. In discussion-heavy courses, you may be required to log in two to three times throughout the week to participate in an interactive discussion. Some courses may require you to attend a synchronous live chat or do an out-of-home activity such as visiting a site or conducting an interview. Review your syllabus carefully to allocate time in your personal schedule to fully participate.

Is Online Learning for Me?

The MERLOT project houses a number of online learning readiness quizzes and inventories you can take to determine if online learning is appropriate for you. Visit MERLOT's Online Learning Readiness Collection.

Online Learning Resources