Strategies for Success for Online Learners

Be Realistic

When signing up for an online class it is important to understand that, although the experience is somewhat different than a face-to-face class, the expectations are the same. To be a successful online student you must:  


be prepared to complete the same amount of course work as a face-to-face class
adhere to deadlines and rubrics laid out within the syllabus for that class

  • cooperate and work with other students

understand that there may be times at which the entire class must simultaneously “meet-up” online at specific designated log-in times. 

Be Responsible

The convenience and flexibility of an online course is a fantastic option for some people. To be a successful online learner it is extremely important to:


be self-disciplined

  • review your syllabus 

  • keep up with the current technology necessary to stay on track

  • participate in class activities and discussions

  • avoid distractions when outside of a classroom setting

  • fight the temptation to procrastinate

pay close attention to, and constantly improve upon, your written communication skills

Stay Informed

Since an online student is away from campus most of the time, it is important to remember that, just like a face-to-face learner, you are responsible for all deadlines, policies, and support services.  While Alamo Colleges District may occasionally reach out to all students through their ACES student email accounts, it is up to you to stay current and stay connected. The following online resources are available to help you stay a successful online learner:

Deadlines and Policies


Know the Course Syllabus

The syllabus is one of the most critical components for all students to be successful.  

  • read through it at least twice

  • record due dates for all assignments and discussions on your personal calendar

  • before you begin an assignment, review instructions and grading rubrics, and double check due dates.

Manage your Time Effectively

  • develop a long term plan for completing your assignments based on your course syllabus

  • make a daily task list to help you stay on track

Create a Good Study Space


select a quiet and peaceful place for “school.”

turn off all electronics to avoid distractions and interruptions
  • get comfortable, adjusting chairs, keyboards, screen resolutions, and lighting

Stay Current on Basic Technology

Online learners need knowledge of basic technology to be successful.

  • Learn to use Alamo College’s current learning management system, Canvas.

  • Check Alamo College’s basic hardware and software requirements on our Technology Resource Guide for Students 

Stay Connected

While each class has different communication expectations outlined in their syllabus, it is important to stay connected as an online learner.  To do this, frequently utilize:

  • class discussion boards

peer reviews

  • any communication medium specified by instructor

Communicate Respectfully

Most of the communication done in an online class is written. To communicate successfully as an online learner it is important to:


use appropriate style and language, avoiding the use of jargon, slang, and sarcasm in you online messages.

  • try to limit the use of exclamation points, bolding, and capital letters

use the tools provided by Alamo Colleges District to communicate with your instructor

  • edit your written submissions methodically