5 Steps to Succeed in an Online Course

In the digital and technologically driven age we live in, more information is becoming readily available online. Online courses in college are becoming more common or even required. Last semester, I took my first online course, and it helped me become a better student. Although I came into the
course hesitant, I was able to acquire valuable skills that will help me in my college years and future.

If you want to begin your online course on the right foot, here are steps that will put you on the path towards success.


  1. Use a Planner

Write down all your due dates for the course, including discussion deadlines, quizzes, assignments, etc. It will help you keep tabs on what you need to accomplish and when.

  1. Print the Syllabus

When I was in an online course, it helped me to double check due dates and assigned readings easily from a printed syllabus. I would check both the due dates online and on the syllabus to make sure the dates matched. If you have any confusion about the course, immediately refer to the syllabus. 

  1. Do the Reading and Assignments

Do the work! Remember, this is not an in-person class, so there is no reinforcement from the professor. It is crucial to read the textbook and any other resources, as well as complete the assignments and study to do well in the course. The questions on your tests should reflect the assigned readings.

  1. Schedule Your Course

Staying on schedule for an online course can be challenging because it is in a different format that an in class course. Don’t let that intimidate you. Pick a day or two in which you focus on your online course, as if it were in a classroom. This way, you get into a routine. You don’t want to wait until the due date to get your work done. It will only give you stress.

  1. Email or Talk to Your Professor

No matter what course, online or in person, don’t be afraid to ask if you have questions about the course or assignments. Professors put their office hours on the syllabus for a reason. Set up a meeting to discuss any questions you have. Just because it’s an online course doesn’t mean you can’t have personal communication.

Sarah Dunlap

About Sarah Dunlap

I am a Pittsburgh native and an English major and Communications minor at Nyack College Rockland Campus. I am a devoted dancer, avid reader, and an aspiring writer. "Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath
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