How to Succeed in your online courses

General Suggestions

Taking a course online can be a lot of fun! Here are some tips that will help you get the most of this course while taking full advantage of the online format.

  • Be a "noisy learner." Create your profile in the e-learning system, post your introductions, link to your blog or Facebook page... get noticed and start a conversation! Students who are engaged tend to achieve higher learning outcomes (and better grades) than others.
  • Ask questions! Don't wait until you are behind to seek assistance, or it may be too late.
  • Take it seriously. This online course is a University of Florida course and the expectations on you are consistent with in-person UF courses.
  • Please allow 48 hours for a response to any question from your TA or instructor. Questions asked over the weekend will be answered on the next working day. If you have an emergency, you can use the contact information listed in the syllabus to contact someone immediately.
  • Know how to credit your sources! Plagiarism, even accidental, can be grounds for dismissal from UF. See: Citing Sources & Avoiding Plagiarism

Time Management

  • Schedule "class times" for yourself. When you sit down to work on your online course, turn off all distractions: turn off your cell phone and TV, close your door, and try to avoid clicking away from the course interface in your browser.
  • It is a common misconception that online courses are "easier" or take less time - this is NOT TRUE. Expect to spend the same amount of hours working at your online course as you would if you attended in person.
  • Login to the course at least twice per week - important announcements may be missed if you don't check frequently. Also, many of your assignments may involve participating in discussions, which should be done in a timely manner.
  • Understand that late assignments may be refused or have points taken away. Plan ahead so that technical problems do not lead to a lower grade!
  • Tip: Keep a planner or calendar to help you stay on track.

Attention to Detail

  • #1: Read the Objectives and Requirements and the Syllabus!
  • Be sure to check the directions of all assignments closely; points may be lost for failure to follow directions.
  • Complete lectures and readings in their entirety to ensure you keep up with the course.
  • Printing the Syllabus may help you to keep track of your completed assignments - check them off as you finish each one.
  • Note the presence of "Due Dates" on each module/lesson or weekly section!

Take Advantage of Resources

  • Review the Student FAQ in the e-learning Wiki. Also: Taking Online Tests
  • You have access to discussion boards (forums) in which you can post questions to your instructor or fellow students for help - USE THEM! Many times, your peers will respond before your instructor has a chance, and you may help others identify their own needs for clarification. (Do not post grade or personal questions in a public forum.)
  • READ the discussion boards too - your question may already have been asked and answered.
  • Your instructor may post additional videos, links, or other resources in each module/lesson or overall under "Course Materials." Follow-through with these, as they may help solidify concepts or expand on the course topics in meaningful (though not required) ways.

Technical Considerations

There are some technical requirements/expectations that you must meet in order to be successful in this course. If you have concerns about any of these, please contact your instructor.
  • High-speed internet; DSL may not be sufficient for viewing videos and lectures. It is recommended that you take ALL exams and quizzes from a non-wireless high-speed connection.
  • Use of a webcam and microphone may be required for assigments or chat sessions.
  • If UF e-learning ("Sakai") is down during the period in which an assignment is due or an exam is to be turned it, students will not be penalized. The contingency plan for each situation will be different and established by your instructor.
  • If you have trouble logging in, seeing your courses, or other technical problems, you can contact the UF Helpdesk at (352)392.3457. You can also contact the SFRC Distance Education Coordinator by sending a message if you are having problems with specific course delivery methods.

Have a question about the course? Need more help?

Remember to check the discussion boards first!

Your classmates may have already received an answer to the same question you have.

If you are having technical difficulty with your Gatorlink access, please contact:
UF Computing HelpDesk
352.392.4357
helpdesk@ufl.edu