Important Update: April 19, Spring 2021 term course registration is now open. | Spring and Summer 2021 terms to be delivered virtually. All on-campus support services are currently virtual. Important Announcement for Fall 2021.
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How to be a Successful Online Learner

Taking online courses is a great option for students who wish to earn credit for their Associate Degree program or university transfer courses without having to leave the comfort of their own home.

For students new online learning, taking courses in an online format may be an exciting or slightly challenging experience. While instruction and quality of education remain the same, it may take students some time to adjust to a virtual classroom.

To help students feel prepared for online learning, Student Services has put together our top ten tips for how to become a successful online learner. By using these simple strategies and staying organized throughout the term, all students can achieve success in an online learning environment.


Access to a Reliable Computer and Internet Connection
Although many students today access the internet on their phones, a reliable computer and strong internet connection are essential tools for accessing lectures, conducting research or completing assignments.

Create a Regular Schedule
Establish a dedicated a space at home that can be used for studying, is free from distractions and allow you to be productive. While it may take some time to learn what type of environment work best for you, regularly working in this space will help create a routine.

Create a Regular Study Space
Just like in-person courses, lectures will run at their scheduled time each week. Students are encouraged to arrive 5 minutes early to lecture to make sure Zoom is operating correctly.

Be on Time to your Lectures
Just like in-person courses, lectures will run at their scheduled time each week. Students are encouraged to arrive 5 minutes early to lecture to make sure Zoom is operating correctly.

Check your Email Often
Checking your email and Canvas account daily is a good way to stay on top of important updates from your instructors and Alexander College.

Participate Online
Generally, the more you engage with your course material the better your understanding becomes. Asking thoughtful questions, adding to discussion posts and connecting with your classmates are all good ways to participate in online courses.

Eliminate Distractions
Being online can easily lead to being distracted on social media or the internet. To stay focused, try setting achievable goals and taking short breaks as a reward. There are several apps and websites that can temporary block distracting website and help you focus.

Save your Work
Assignments, papers and lab work will all be required to be submitted online. It’s a good idea to save your work as you go, so you do lose your work and can submit tasks on time.

Practice Self-Care
Taking courses online means increased screen time. To maintain a good sense of balance, make sure to take regular breaks and practice self-care. Some examples include taking walks, eating nutritious food and connecting with others.

Additional Resources:

Learning & Studying Strategies for Distance Education Classes and Courses

How to Succeed in an Online Course

Writing Strategies for Online Learners

Communicating Online: Netiquette



Alexander College. (n.d.). Online Learning: Admissions and Registration. Retrieved from

Landry, L. (2019, August 22). 9 TIPS FOR TAKING ONLINE COURSES WHILE WORKING FULL-TIME. Retrieved from

Northeastern University. (2019, February 4). 8 Strategies for getting the most out of an online class. Retrieved from

University of Illinois Springfield. (n.d.). What Makes a Successful Online Student? Retrieved from