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Tips for Success in Your Online Courses

We asked the experts in online teaching and learning for advice on ways to be successful in online courses. And, they didn’t disappoint. As online students, you have the flexibility to learn whenever and however you want, which means prioritizing tasks (life, work and school) is important. 

Whether you’re back for another semester or just starting your journey with NC State, we’re excited to welcome you to the Wolfpack! 

Check out the tips below on how to have a successful fall semester in your online courses. 

Organization is Key

  • First, study the course syllabus! It contains vital information to help you succeed in the class. 
  • Write due dates in an agenda or add them to your Google calendar. If you’re using Google calendar, set notifications for tasks and assignments. 
  • The importance of being a self-directed learner is amplified in online courses. You’ll need to be disciplined and well-organized to complete assignments and successfully interact with your instructors and classmates. Set up a schedule and stick to it. 
  • Each week, block off time in your schedule to work on your online classes. Be sure to check in on your classes often for announcements, discussion postings, etc.
  • Set up a dedicated workspace to complete your online class assignments. Working in front of the TV or in an area where you’re likely to be distracted or interrupted decreases your productivity.

Communicate With Your Instructor

  • Don’t be hesitant to reach out to your online instructor. If you’ve tried to understand something on your own and need help, ask your instructor. 
  • Connections with your instructor can make it easier to ask questions and be in the know about opportunities outside of class. And you may need a letter of recommendation one day! Make sure your instructors know who you are.
  • One way to get to know your instructor is to attend their office hours regularly. 

Form Study Groups With Your Classmates

  • You can meet online in Google Meet or Zoom and help each other with challenging work. You can also encourage each other to stay on track and stick it out when the going gets tough. 
  • Just because you are an online student doesn’t mean you should ever feel isolated. The NC State community is here to support you! 

Stay Current With Tools and Resources

  • If your class uses Zoom for online meetings, keep the software updated so you can take advantage of all the new features. 
  • Install the Google Authenticator app on your phone to help make two-factor Google authentication easier. More on two-factor authentication here
  • Understand the resources available to you as an online student at NC State. Just like on-campus students, you have access to academic, technology, mental health, and basic needs support. 
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to start writing. The time between the big assignments exists for a reason – it’s there to allow you plenty of time to plan and to write. Take advantage of it. Use the Writing Center. If you don’t think you’re a good writer, that’s hands-down the best resource available on campus. 

Remember Your “Why” 

  • Try to connect course discussions, readings, assignments, and projects to the work you currently do or are aspiring to do in the future. Build upon what you already know and do well.
  • Your “why” can be so many different things. Remember what’s important to you in the moment to keep pushing for success. 

Have tips of your own to share? Connect with NC State Online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and tag us. We’re here for you!