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10 Tips for Online Success

Setting yourself up for success when taking online classes can make a positive impact on your learning experience and help you achieve your academic goals. Follow these readiness tips to promote your success as a CLC online student!


Set realistic goals.

There is a common misconception that online classes are easier and less work than face-to-face classes when, in fact, online and blended courses require a comparable amount of work as their on-campus equivalents. Without reliable access to a computer and the Internet, it is unlikely you will be successful in an online class. Seek guidance from an advisor or counselor about the time and resources necessary for your success as an online student.


Get oriented.

Before class starts, confirm your username/password and learn how to access and use the tools in Canvas. When your class becomes available, take a tour of the course site to become familiar with how your instructor has organized the course materials. Be confident when first clicking around so that you can learn how to quickly find resources and assignments. The ease at which you navigate Canvas will improve your success in the course.


Take responsibility for your learning.

Just because you can access an online class from nearly anywhere at any time does not mean you can always turn in your work whenever you want. Online classes at CLC are not self-paced; you are expected to participate and submit assignments by the deadlines established by your instructor. It can be very difficult to catch up if you get behind in an online class and late work is not always accepted.


Understand the expectations.

It is your responsibility to understand all of course requirements and instructor’s expectations. Course information is typically found in the syllabus, but important information can also be shared in the announcement section of Canvas and communicated via e-mail. Be aware of class policies, assignment instructions, and deadlines. Always contact the instructor when clarification is needed regarding completing coursework to boost the probability of your success.


Plan ahead.

Managing your time, staying organized, and planning ahead are critical to being successful in the online learning environment. Instructors expect you to follow all instructions for assignments and submit work on time. Avoid procrastination so that unexpected issues do not impact timely submission of assignments. Planning ahead also avoids last minute inquiries, which may not provide ample response time before an assignment is due.


Establish a routine and designated study space.

One key to online success is finding the time of day, location, and type of study environment that works best for how you like to learn. Setting aside dedicated time each day to complete your online coursework is an important part of a successful academic routine. Maintaining a schedule for completing coursework when and where you are most productive will be the most effective and efficient use of your time.


Be an active participant.

Online students who actively engage in their classes are more likely to comprehend and retain the course material which, as a result, may help reduce the amount of time spent studying for tests. Stay engaged in the discussion boards to gain valuable insight from classmates. Logging into the course site and checking your e-mail on a daily basis will ensure that you stay connected to the online learning community and are aware of important class information.


Read everything.

Be prepared to do a lot of reading. When you are enrolled in an online course, you will find yourself reading information that would most likely have been shared verbally in a face-to-face class. Read all of the course materials, lectures, assignment instructions, announcements, and e-mails so that you do not miss any critical directions or deadlines.


Know how you are doing.

When taking an online class, it is important to know where you stand in terms of your academic performance. Make sure to read any instructor feedback on your work and follow their recommendations. Be proactive in contacting your instructor to clarify course material, assignments, and grades, as well as to seek advice on how you can improve.


Ask for help.

If you find yourself struggling or have questions, reach out for assistance! Contact your instructor about course content, assignment directions, due dates, or grades. For technical issues related to e-mail or the myCLC portal, contact the CLC Help Desk. There are also CLC services like the library, tutoring, advising and counseling available to help. Be proactive and plan ahead when possible as depending on the type of assistance you need, response times can vary.

Visit for more information about the skills and technical requirements necessary to be a successful online learner and the resources available to help support CLC Online students.