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Taking An Online Course

Over the past year, online courses have become the norm for a majority of students. The transition from classroom to online can be difficult, especially if you have not experienced this type of learning before. That said, we are here to help ~ here is everything need to know to ace your online course!

How does it work?

Every experience is different but a majority of courses are facilitated through an online platform used by the university. All interactions are made virtually though discussion boards, typically pre-made by the professor. Similar to the classroom experience, each week is divided into different topics, with incorporated assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. First tip: Don't plan for this to be a slack course. In some ways, it is more difficult than a traditional classroom. However, online learning does come with several perks!

I'm enrolled, now what?

Log on to the platform and find the course syllabus. Similar to your in-class experience, this will be an outline for the entire course and help you stay on track. Here are a few steps to musts:

  1. Create a calendar with virtual sessions & due dates

  2. Read the requirements for participation

  3. Plan ahead and manage your time


Virtual sessions may be part for your course. This will require you to log on to the platform and be present for the set hours. If this is part of your course mark the dates in your calendar to ensure you are available!

Due dates can vary each week with set days and/or times so it is important to take note. Some professors allow students to submit everything at the end of each week, while others have several submissions throughout. We suggest adding the important dates to your calendar with alerts...and yes this sounds annoying but trust us, it will be your lifesaver as the course progresses.


Quizzes, exams and projects are typically taken through the online course system. However, some professors may require an in-person session (this should be noted in the syllabus). Specific date(s) and time(s) are provided to allow for advanced planning in either scenario. Final projects (and in rare cases group projects) may be required in place of exams with mini deadlines throughout the semesters.

Participation is key in any online learning course. Think of it as attendance and participation in a traditional classroom environment. Due to the nature of the course, it is the only way to let the professor know that you are active and following the lesson. Plan to contribute to discussion boards a few times a week and don't be scared to post first! Second tip: If you wait too long, the discussions can get overwhelming...think of it as if you left your phone for a minute, while your group chat is going off.

Online learning is all about organization and time management. There are several benefits {not waking up for an 8AM and working from any location}, however, it is up to YOU to ensure all requirements are met. If you implement our tips above to plan ahead and keep on top of your work, you will excel!


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