Academic Support

How to Succeed in Online Learning

Laptop on campus

Being in an online classroom seems much different than being in a physical classroom, but while there are important differences, there are also many similarities.

The Golden Rule of Online Class Conduct

When in doubt, ask your professor about their expectations of you for their class.

The Basics

  1. Reliable technology is essential. Make sure you can access online courses by confirming your computer meets minimum computing standards. Connect with the Help Desk at 937-775-4827 or Learn about Wright State's laptop and hotspot lending program, computer labs, and campus study spaces.

  2. Get to know Pilot and learn how to use features like Dropbox, discussion boards, and quizzes. Add the Academic Resources page to you Pilot layout for helpful information on study tips, learning strategies, stress management and more. 

  3. Connect with professors early. Expectations will vary by instructor and course. Always check with each professor to make sure you fully understand what is expected of you in their course. Ask for clarification when you need it.  

  4. Treat your online course like any other. Arrive on time, pay close attention, participate, and do your work. Take active notes like you would in a classroom setting. 

  5. Speak up and participate in class. When your professor asks questions, be willing to raise your hand, unmute, and share your thoughts. Typing responses into chat is also usually welcome. When you're placed in breakout groups, engage with your classmates by turning on your camera and microphone. This is an opportunity to connect and work together.

  6. Exercise self-motivation and self-discipline. It can be harder to prepare for class, know due dates, submit assignments on time, and study in online courses. Staying organized and setting priorities will help. Create a schedule, color code files, use a wall calendar, write lists, whatever will keep you on task. Check out YouTube for motivation strategies.

Level Up

Stay mindful of your surroundings. Remember, the camera captures activity behind you and the microphone picks up noise around you from TVs, music, even others talking in the room. Consider using a virtual background and finding a quiet area free of distraction and activity.  Mute the microphone when you're not talking, unless your professor requests otherwise.

Be patient. When asking a question, wait a reasonable time for a reply from your professor. You may need to continue working on an assignment until you hear back. In your email, always include the name and section (or meet time) of your course, and begin with the appropriate greeting — Dear Professor or Professor (last name) will work unless you've been specifically told they prefer less formality.  

Know the Code. Student conduct expectations in the physical classroom extend to the digital classroom. This includes dressing appropriately, listening attentively, raising your hand to ask questions, and being respectful to your professors and classmates. 

Ask for help when you need it. You're not alone. There are many people to help you. Some of the places you'll find them include: