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Tips for Online Students

1) Have reliable internet.

You are responsible for ensuring that you can access your online classroom space on a regular basis. In certain classes, you may need to be present in the classroom space every single day, and you need to have the ability to do so. Instructors will expect you to have internet access, and not having it could result in the loss of points. 

2) Have a backup plan for getting to reliable internet if/when yours fails.

If your internet at home stops working, you need to have a backup plan. Plan ahead for situations when you may need to go to a friend's house, your local public library, or a computer lab on campus. 

3) Have access to a webcam & microphone.

Some of your courses will require you to post video or audio recordings so you will need access to a webcam and a microphone. Most laptops and smartphones now come with these devices already installed; however, if your computer or smartphone does not have these tools, we recommend that you purchase them. They should be easy to find and fairly cheap to purchase at any store that sells tech related devices.

4) Plan your schedule carefully: watch for online classes with scheduled meeting times & know your time constraints.

As you begin plan your schedule for each semester, use WINS to see what classes are offered. Be sure to uncheck the "Show Open Classes Only" box because some online classes appear full but still have spots available with appropriate permissions. Then, when you find a class you are interested in, read the "Class Notes" to see if the class is conducted asynchorounsly or if there are scheduled online meeting times.In addition to picking classes that fit your schedule, you need to be realistic about the amount of time you have to spend studying and doing homework. For every credit hour of a class,  you should expect to spend 1 hour of "in-class" time (online time, in discussions or other activities) plus 3 hours of homework time (reading, writing, etc.) each week. For example, if the class you are interested in is 3 credit hours, you should expect to spend 3 hours per week in the online classroom space and 9 hours per week on homework, for a total of 12 hours per week on the class as a whole. If you do not have 12 hours of spare time each week, do not take a 3 unit class.

5) Enroll in classes as early as possible.

Online classes fill up very quickly, so you need to register for classes as soon as your registration period begins. You should plan to register for Fall classes in April and Spring classes in November. If you wait to register for classes, it may be difficult or impossible to get into the classes you need.