Center for Student Success

Tips For Succeeding in Online Classes

  1. Look at the syllabus and make note of major assignments. Mark them on a calendar that you check regularly so you know what workload is coming in the weeks ahead.
  2. Get into a routine and create a weekly schedule that you follow. Set specific time blocks as to when you will focus on each class. Be aware of the time of day you are most productive. (Check out the weekly schedule available from CSS)
  3. Keep on top of deadlines by creating weekly and daily to do lists. Make a commitment as to when you will work on an assignment. Be specific about when you want to complete it. (Check out the weekly to do list available from CSS)
  4. Set goals for each class and reward yourself for progress towards your goals.
  5. Create a regular study space and stay organized. When setting up your study space, make sure you: have a high-speed internet connection, have the required materials, and software for the course, have headphones for listening to lectures or discussions (especially important in shared spaces).
  6. Take frequent, short breaks.
  7. Communicate often with classmates and instructors! Email, forums, and messaging can help you stay connected and avoid misunderstandings. 
  8. Create a virtual study team with a few of your peers.
  9. Eliminate distractions. Consider turning your cell phone off to avoid losing focus every time a text message or notification pops up. Using applications like Cold Turkey and Freedom can help eliminate distractions by blocking the apps or websites that tend to compete for your attention.
  10. Ask questions as soon as you have them.
  11. Keep organized notes. Just like in a traditional classroom setting, taking notes may make it easier to remember the important pieces of information you will need to retain.
  12. Proofread everything you submit. Unlike a standard college setting, much of your communication in an online course will be written. Grammar and punctuation are an important component of ensuring your message gets across accurately, but you should also check for clarity and conciseness.

*Adapted from: