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Tips for Online Students

Use of Technology

You do not have to be a computer expert to be an online student, but the more you know about the basics, the easier it will be. Tech tips for online students include:

  1. Review any available orientation materials for the Learning Management System (LMS) used by the institution. Check their website and/or contact the help desk.
  1. Get online as soon as your course is active and give yourself a tour of the course site. Knowing where things are will save you time and frustration later, and will give you practice in using the software tools needed for the course.
  1. Find a friend, neighbor or colleague who knows more about computers than you do. He/she will likely come in handy at some point during the semester!
  1. Every Learning Management System has a help feature which usually includes a searchable guide. Be sure to click on the icon or link provided to explore the information.
  1. If posting to a discussion forum, write your post in a word processing program and copy/paste the text to the discussion. If there would be any issues with your submission, you can easily email the completed post to your instructor.
  1. Having a backup copy of all of your work will ease your mind and prepare you for the worst. Unfortunately, computer issues do happen. Power outages, viruses, and hard drive failures are just a few reasons to save your work in more one location.


  • So even if you have a computer issue, you will still have due dates and deadlines to meet for class! Think about a friend or family member's computer that you can use if you encounter a problem. If possible, you be might be able to come to campus and use one of your school’s available computer labs during normal business hours. This is why it's important to think ahead when taking an online class. Do not wait until the last minute to submit assignments or take a quiz or exam!