… and now you’re an online student!

…and now you are an online student!

Many students choose to study in person because that’s how they feel they learn the best, so now that education is being pushed online, how do we adapt and be successful in this new environment?

The key to success as an online student is not only to become fully comfortable with the functionality of the online environment, but to learn how to manage your time and understand the unique circumstances of online education. The skills that serve students well in the classroom are still important in an online environment, but they must be coordinated with a self-starter attitude and good time management skills.

Strategies for Success

We have pulled together advice from past online PBC students and from our online team:

  • USE A SCHEDULE (paper or electronic) to keep track of the beginning and ending of course weeks and when assignments are due. Time management is huge and will be the difference maker in your success.
  • DESIGNATE REGULAR, UNINTERRUPTED INTERVALS through the week to interact with your online classroom, such as reading and contributing to discussion forums. Some classes may require that you spend more time interacting with them each week, but it really depends on the circumstances of each class and the expectations of the instructor.
  • CREATE A DESKTOP FOLDER on your computer so it regularly catches your attention. Within that main course folder, create a place for downloaded files and any assignments you may be working on.
  • COMMUNICATE PROACTIVELY. Don’t be shy to email your teachers about any questions you may have. It is easy to misinterpret instructions, a comment in an e-mail or on a discussion board. Your teachers want you to succeed and will be more than happy to provide clarification when needed. When you do communicate, take the time to be clear and concise to minimize misunderstandings and be patient. Because you are communicating online there may be a delayed response, and that is okay! 


Even if you feel completely prepared for online coursework, don’t be surprised if you have some challenges getting oriented at the start. Every class is unique. Every instructor has their own method of teaching a class. Work on being self-disciplined and building the skills you need and you will succeed.