Online students need to log in to each course several days each week, and especially at the start of each school week to review the schedule and reading assignments.
Please realize that each instructor may have different expectations, so the activities you need to complete may vary from course to course.
Always check the course schedule each time you log into the course to make sure you’re aware of all assignments and deadlines.
A typical session for a student in an online course:
- Log into the course
- Read through the News postings to check for updates
- Go to Content and review the weekly assignment schedule
- Locate the online lectures and articles
- Read the assignment instructions
- Check the due dates for upcoming assignments, quizzes, and tests
- Complete your readings
- Find and read additional articles from the online library relating to the topics
- Check your Grades on previous assignments and tests, paying special attention to the feedback comments from your instructor
- Complete your current homework and assignments
- Go to the Discussion forums
- Contribute to the assigned class discussions
- Respond to questions posted by classmates
- Ask the instructor question(s)
- Schedule time to complete other assignments, to study and review notes, and to take Quizzes and exams
- Submit your homework assignments via the Dropbox
- Check your campus email and reply to any urgent messages
- Log out of the course site
Your online course will include these types of activities
Each week your instructor will provide you with a list of reading assignments, writing assignments, research, and other activities. You can complete the assignments whenever you choose, however you must turn in your assignments before their deadlines. Make sure to check the course schedule to determine which assignments are due each week.
Online lecture materials are designed to extend your learning beyond your textbook. You will be required to study the online lectures in addition to your textbook. The online lectures might consist of readings, PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, or videos.
You will need to complete your homework before you upload it to your instructor. It’s important that you check your work for accuracy and spelling prior to submitting it. In most cases, writing assignments must be created using Microsoft Word, and you will upload the assignment to your instructor using the Dropbox tool.
Your instructor might have discussion activities in your course. Most instructors will grade your participation in each discussion activity, and you will be responsible for posting new messages as well as replies to other students. Therefore, in weeks that include discussion activities, you’ll want to log into the same discussion several times throughout the week to read new messages and post replies to your classmates. Discussions are meant to help you learn the material through problem-solving, comparisons and contrasts, and applications of the material. The more you participate, the better you will learn the materials.
In an online class, you obviously don't raise your hand to ask a question. Instead, you should post your question into the discussions forum titled "questions and answers," so your instructor can read your question and reply to it, and the rest of the class gets the benefit of that answer. If your question is of a personal and private nature (such as a question about a grade on your assignment), then you should send a private email to your instructor with a subject line that begins with the name of your class.
Quizzes and Tests
Along with other assignments, your instructor may test your understanding of content and skills through quizzes and exams. In most situations, the tests will only be available for you to take on a few dates. It’s very important to be aware of these deadlines and to complete your tests during those periods. Also, most tests have time limits, and once you begin the test, the clock begins. For this reason, it’s extremely important to take notes and study prior to the test so you’re well prepared. Some instructors will provide sample tests or practice tests to help you gauge how prepared you are to take the graded examination. When these practice tests are available, it’s to your benefit to use them and learn from them.
Some instructors will have you participate in group projects, and your grade will reflect how successful your group was at completing the learning objectives for the assignment. The keys to success in a group project are communication and cooperation. When you are assigned into a group project, it’s very important for you to personally contact your other group members right away. Coordinate your efforts and keep in contact to make sure everyone completes his or her tasks on time. In many group assignments, your instructor will be able to determine who has completed what work, so it’s very important for you to take an active role in a group project.
Presentations and projects
Some instructors might have you create a presentation to share with the rest of the class. This might be an online blog or journal, a PowerPoint presentation, a podcast, a paper, or a YouTube video. Your presentation is meant to help other students learn the course content. Therefore, you have a special responsibility to check your facts, organize your thoughts, and make the information that you’re presenting clear and concise.