How to Succeed in an Online Class

Updated 5/25/15

The five basic rules for success in any online class are:

  1. log in often
  2. read everything very carefully
  3. meet all deadlines
  4. post meaningful comments
  5. participate in discussions

[For more on how to succeed, click here.]

Log in to our class blog and Laulima discussions at least once a day. If you don’t, you will miss important announcements. For an online class, “I didn’t know” is not an acceptable excuse. Also, “My computer was broken” is not an acceptable excuse. Your computer will break down and you will need a backup.

Read everything very carefully. If you ask questions that show you haven’t completed the required readings, your classmates and I will not reply to you. If your drafts clearly indicate that you have not read the necessary guidelines, we’ll put minimal effort into our feedback. The simple rule is: hard work is rewarded, laziness isn’t. Reading and understanding the course material is your responsibility.

Meet all deadlines. All late work will be penalized. The pace in a summer class is intense. If you fail to meet a deadline, it will impact others. Much of our activities are interactive, and late work leaves little or no time for others to comment, quote, or reply. Midnight is the usual deadline. Don’t wait until 11:55 pm to post. If anything goes wrong, you won’t have much of a time cushion.

Watch the 3.5 min. video below for an introduction to our Laulima discussions.

Post meaningful comments. Your classmates and I will be reading all your comments and replies. We all know the difference between comments that are well thought out and those that require little or no thought. Your posts reveal your understanding of the guidelines and course material. The quality of your posts will impact the scores you receive in the activities that are associated with each paper.

Participate in discussions. Become a dynamic presence in our class through your posts in Laulima and in classmates’ blogs. Respond to others’ posts. Let them know you care about their ideas, problems, etc. Research shows us that students who are very active in class discussions are also successful in completing the course with a good grade. Caring thus benefits others as well as the poster.

The quickest and most effective way to reach me is via email: jamess@hawaii.edu

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