Online courses can be quite different from courses taken in a traditional on-ground classroom. Sometimes students or faculty members are surprised to learn that they were really unprepared for the online environment.

You do not have to be a 'techy' to be successful online. However, certain basic skills will make your learning experience more efficient and more enjoyable.

Minimally, you should have basic computer and keyboarding skills. Additionally, you should be familiar sending and receiving email with attachments and with downloading and installing software. Finally, online courses make use of learning management systems (Canvas, Blackboard, Desire2Learn) as well as other specialized software for learning on the Internet. Successful students are able to access available tutorials and help documentation and take responsibility for learning how to use the tools in a course without extensive direct interaction or support from the instructor.

Much of the activity in online courses occurs through the written word. Successful online students are good with verbal skills. They are comfortable taking in information by reading and expressing themselves through the written word. They also are self-sufficient in their studies and do not find themselves dependent on lectures and direct instruction in order to achieve learning objectives. Ultimately, students who assume responsibility for their learning and actively seek out the instructor support and other resources they need to complete the course.​

The online environment offers students the flexibility to organize their academic work in a way that fits in with their other responsibilities.

Successful online students are self-motivated and self-disciplined. They are also effective time managers who are able to schedule 8 - 10 hours a week required by their online courses.

Please view the technology pages to help ensure you are properly setup to view and add content to Blackboard and understand how various tools work within the learning management system.

Computer Settings

Help ensure your computer is Blackboard ready

Faculty Tutorials

Quick help instructions on how to add materials to a Blackboard course shell

Student Tutorials

Quick help instructions on how to submit materials to a Blackboard course.

Additional Faculty Resources

A knowledge base of best practices and tools for online education.