8 Tips for Online Student Success

  1. Start the semester right. The first week of an online class can set the tone for the rest of the semester. Use these first days wisely – see below for What to Do During Your First Week in an Online Class.
  2. Embrace the syllabus. Print a copy and do not just file it away – check it early and often!
  3. Make sure that you know how to navigate our learning management system – our New Student Orientation shows how.
  4. If at all possible, create a dedicated place for your studies. Whether you have an entire office or just a desk in your living room, make sure it is organized with the supplies you need and is available for use at any time.
  5. Learn how to balance your school commitments with family, work, and the rest of life. When learning at home, it’s often difficult to balance the load. Anticipate scheduling problems and come up with a solution that works for everyone. If you’re going on vacation or have a meeting out of town, work ahead.
  6. Invest yourself in online class discussions. The course forums and Zoom live sessions are the heart of the City Vision learning community and a great way to learn from your peers as well as your professors.
  7. Stay on schedule. You can’t afford to get behind in an online class. It’s best to look ahead to the coming weeks in the course and make a specific schedule of when you will work on the required assignments.
  8. Know who to contact for various issues:
    • Having technical problems? Contact technical support by emailing support@cityvision.edu or calling (816) 708-0794.
    • Don’t understand the course material or what you are supposed to be working on? Contact your instructor using the messaging system in Canvas as described here. Some instructors may be reachable by phone, but typically the messaging system is the best way to contact them.
    • If your circumstances are making it hard to complete your studies, let us know. Call (816) 708-0794 or email support@cityvision.edu and we will get back to you within 2 business days to discuss your situation and see if there’s anything we can do to help.

* Based in part on: http://distancelearn.about.com/od/distancelearning101/tp/Online-Student-Success.htm

What to Do in Your First Week

  1. Determine if you’re in over your head. You can withdraw from a course through the first four weeks without penalty. However, let us know first if you are considering it by emailing support@cityvision.edu.
  2. Buy any required materials and books early. If your online course requires textbooks or other materials, buy them before class starts so you won’t fall behind on your assignments. You can buy them online at www.amazon.com, www.bookshop.org, or any other online bookstore.
  3. Check your Internet browser. Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge are the recommended browsers for CVU courses. You may also use Mozilla Firefox or Safari.
  4. Introduce yourself to the instructor. Your instructor may never get to know you unless you take the initiative. Many courses include an area to introduce yourself to the class. If not, then you might consider introducing yourself to the instructor in an email.
  5. Look for study partners. Other students can help you study, answer your questions, and remind you of any upcoming deadlines. And sometimes, it’s nice to just chat with someone who knows exactly what you’re going through.
  6. Check that all the links work in your class, for both learning resources and assignments. If any are broken, contact our technical support staff at support@cityvision.edu.
  7. Schedule out your time for the term. Both the syllabus and our learning management system show all the upcoming assignments, exams, and projects. Record them on your personal calendar and map out when you will get them done. Some may be large projects that take several weeks to complete.
  8. Establish a regular study time. Set a regular time to study, and stick to it! For more hints, visit: http://distancelearn.about.com/od/distancelearning101/a/FirstWeek.htm.
  9. Get a head start on the assigned work. Don’t expect the instructor to be available 24/7. Sending an e-mail at 11:57pm about an exam that closes at midnight is not a successful strategy. Ideally, you should have your assignments completed several days before they are due, in case there are issues with them. Note especially that forum posts are due on Thusrday of each week so that others can complete their replies to them.

** Modified from: http://distancelearn.about.com/od/distancelearning101/a/FirstWeek.htm