Review these 10 strategies to help you achieve academic success!
1. Set Goals
- Go into each course with a positive outlook.
- At the beginning of a course, look through the materials. Break the lessons/assignments into manageable chunks.
2. Use Your Life and Work Experience As a Resource in Your Course
- As an adult learner, you may not receive credit for all your work and life experience, but you can still use these experiences as a resource in your selected courses.
3. Strengthen Your Reading and Writing Communications Skills
- Because most communication in online courses is written, you will be more successful if you feel comfortable reading and comprehending written material.
- If reading and writing is not one of your strengths, you may need to allow yourself extra study time.
4. Take Steps to Be Self-Motivated and Self-Disciplined
- In online courses, no one is standing over your shoulder to make sure you do the work. You have more freedom and more flexibility—and more responsibility!
- The online learning process takes commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of work.
- As a student, you are responsible for following the syllabus.
- A key to your success is knowing when your assignments are due.
5. Be Willing to Commit Three to Four Hours of Study Time Weekly Per 1 Credit Hour of a Course
- Online learning is not easier than the traditional educational process; many learners feel that learning online can actually be harder than in a traditional classroom.
6. Voice Your Concerns If a Problem Arises
- Nonverbal communication cannot be “seen” by the instructor online.
- If you are experiencing difficulty in a course, you should contact your faculty member. Courses move along quickly, so contact your instructor as soon as a problem arises so you don’t get behind in the course.
7. Build a Strong Study Strategy
- Identify the times of day when you learn most effectively and, if possible, go to the same place to study each time so you can get into the mindset of getting your work done. Refer to the time-management calender.
- Vary what you’re studying to avoid boredom or fatigue.
8. Participate in All Your Class Activities
- Contribute your ideas, perspective, and comments on the subject you are studying, and read about those of your classmates.
- Your instructor is not the only source of information in your course; you can gain great insight from your peers and they can learn from you as well.
9. Build Your Basic Computer Skills in:
- using a keyboard and mouse
- familiarity with your web browser and Microsoft Word
- the ability to save and find files on your computer’s directories
For more tips, see our computer best practices page.
10. Use the World Campus Resources Available to You
- Participate in the New Student Orientation (if you have accepted your offer of admission and did not receive an invitation to Orientation, please email Nate McElroy at [email protected] for more information).
- Take the Assessment of Readiness for Online Learning.
- Get to know your academic adviser! They can share more resources with you.
- Learn how to apply for a Penn State student identification card by visting Penn State id+.