What can you do to be successful in an online class?
Get comfortable with the technology.
If you are using the computer or any other type of technology for your distance education class, be sure to take some time to learn some of the basic computer tools. To support your success, it is helpful to:
have regular access to the Internet and understand how to use a browser (we recommend Firefox for use with Blackboard).
know how to read and send email (Instructors will send you information about your courses through your COS email account. Be sure to check it regularly.)
know basic word processing and file management (creating, saving, attaching) procedures
At COS you can contact the Distance Education Coordinator to find out more about how to use the technology you need for your course. Your instructor may also provide some good tips for you. (To contact the Distance Education Coordinator, Deborah Nolan , please email firstname.lastname@example.org
, or call 559.737.6132.)
Everyone occasionally experiences difficulty with technology. If you are having problems with Blackboard, please see the Technology Support
page on this site or contact the COS Helpdesk at 559.730.4804 or email@example.com
Remember that you are not in the same place at the same time with your instructor and classmates.
You may be seeing information, comments, and questions that your instructor and classmates have "posted" online at various times. For example, you may be responding to a question someone posted two days earlier. This is called asynchronous communication. The nice thing about asynchronous communication is that you have a lot of time to think about the question and how to respond to it. The challenge with asynchronous communication is that you may feel a bit removed or isolated from your instructor or classmates. This type of communication may take a little getting used to.
Organize your time.
If you are taking a traditional face-to-face class or Interactive TV course, you will still
need to come to a classroom at a particular time each week in order to take part in
the class. However, with an online/hybrid class, you may not need to come to class
regularly. In an online class, it will be up to you to set and follow a schedule to log in
to your class, check announcements, engage in discussions, complete and turn in
assignments, and take tests. There are two helpful features in Blackboard
help you organize your time: the Calendar; and Tasks (to learn more about these,
check the student manual in Tools).
Carefully read and understand written information.
Most of the information you need to be successful in the class will be in written format on Blackboard. For example, the instructor will post a written syllabus for you on Blackboard. The syllabus is important because it gives you information about class requirements. It is your responsibility to read all the written information in the class, understand the contents, and follow the directions.
Communicate with the instructor.
Your instructor will be communicating with you on a regular basis, but sometimes it is important for you to contact the instructor, yourself, if you don't understand some written information or an assignment or you are confused. Ask for help if you feel that you need it. Your instructor wants to communicate with you. If you can't reach your instructor by email, try using the telephone. You can find instructor contact information on our website. If you have additional questions, contact the Distance Education Coordinator, Deborah Nolan , please email firstname.lastname@example.org
, or call 559.737.6132.
Communicate with respect for yourself, your instructors, and your classmates, and remember that materials used in connection with distance education courses may be subject to copyright protection.
If you have difficulty with Blackboard, please contact our student helpdesk at:
or link to the Blackboard Support pages on this website.
10/13/2011 2:25 PM