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Online Degree Programs in Tennessee

The Successful Online Learner

Will you be a successful online learner?

To find out if online courses are right for you, consider the following characteristics of successful online students as well as steps that can be taken to achieve that success.

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Does this describe you?

  • Self-motivated
  • Self-disciplined
  • Goal-oriented
  • Schedule-oriented
  • Proficient in reading
  • Communicates well in writing
  • Has basic computer skills
  • Has familiarity with email, web browsers and word processing software

What is expected of you?

  • Participation in all aspects of the course.
  • Communication with your professor and other students in your class.
  • Learn how to navigate in the Learning Management System (LMS).
  • Read course announcements.
  • Use the assigned course management system email address rather than a personal email address for communication with your professor and classmates.
  • Resolve technical problems immediately.
  • Observe course "netiquette" at all times when sending email and posting comments to the discussion board. Refrain from using inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments or actions.
  • High standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

What is needed to access an online course?

  1. Reliable internet access.
  2. A computer system that meets the basic minimum requirements for using the Learning Management System (LMS). You can determine if your computer meets these requirements by performing a system check
  3. Course specific software and accessories (microphone, webcam, etc.) as noted by the professor in the course syllabus.

What can you do to prepare for online success?

  • Establish a location in your home or workplace where you can study without distractions.
  • Ensure that you have good lighting and adequate space.
  • Plan your study time. (A good rule of thumb is to reserve a two-hour block of time several days within the week for study time). 
  • Make sure your computer is working properly.
  • Read the course syllabus in full.
  • Read announcements on the course home page. These announcements often contain helpful or important information.
  • Purchase your textbooks, course materials and access codes from the recommended bookstore. Other online textbook vendors may offer cheaper alternatives and used options, but those alternatives usually don't coincide with the course material or provide access codes to online labs.
  • Do not assume or take anything for granted.
  • Check the course calendar frequently to ensure that deadlines are met.  
  • If you don't understand an assignment or have questions, communicate with your instructor.
  • Establish rapport with other online classmates and form online study groups if possible.
  • Use library and tutoring resources made available to you.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to complete or upload your assignments!