Deborah Healey's Attic : 2009 EducationUSA Conference

Do's and Don'ts for Student Success in Online Classes


For the 2009 Western Hemisphere EducationUSA Adviser Training Program in Mexico City - a presentation about what advisors and students need to know about classes that include online elements.

Abstract: Online education is an increasing part of US higher education, both in hybrid (mixed classroom and online) and in fully online courses. Online courses present some different demands than face-to-face courses do. This presentation will suggest ways that participants can prepare students for success in the online environment.

Presentation (download in PDF format)


Characteristics of online classes – fully online and hybrid

Common fallacies
Digital natives

Role of the advisor

Do's for students

Have good time-management skills – this will help more than anything else
Read the course description and weekly assignments carefully
Post early in discussions
Look back later to see what others (and the teacher) have said
Use good grammar and spelling in class posts
Cite your sources!
Email the teacher with questions

Don'ts for students

Don’t wait until the last minute
Don’t use chat-speak in class posts
Don’t think that you can copy and paste (plagiarize) without getting caught
Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Resources and References (PDF to download)

Allen, I.E., Seaman, J., and Garrett, R. (2007). Blending in: The extent and promise of blended education in the United States. Available online at
Bauerline, M. (2008). The myth of the techno-wizard freshman. Available online at
Hamilton, J. (2008). Think you're multitasking? Think again. Available online at
Katz, I.R. & Macklin, A.S. (2007). Information and communication technology (ICT) literacy: Integration and assessment in higher education. In Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, 5 (4). Available online at
Sloan Consortium (2005). Growing by degrees: Online education in the United States, 2005.


Learner autonomy
Edugains (n.d.). Study guides: Learning strategically. Available online at

Learning styles
Felder, R.M. (n.d.). Index of learning styles. Available online at This gives some background about what learning styles are and how they can be useful.
Soloman, B.A. & Felder, R.M. (n.d.). Learning styles questionnaire. Available online at This will help students know how they learn best, which is useful in both online and face-to-face classes.

Online learning
Illinois Online Network (2007). What makes a successful online student? Available online at This is probably the most useful of the resources listed in terms of what students need to do to be successful online.
Opp-Beckman, L. (2008). Take the self-quiz: Am I ready for e-learning? Available online at This is simple, but it can give students some ideas about the basic requirements for success online.

Plagiarism FAQ (n.d.). Available online at
Purdue OWL (2008). Avoiding plagiarism. Available online at

Time management
Achievement Center (2006). Time management principles. Available online at
York University (n.d.). Time management. Available online at


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Deborah's Attic by Deborah Healey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at
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Last updated 8 October, 2009