How to be a Successful eStudent
Online classes offer a flexible alternative to the traditional on-campus setting, and are just as rigorous and require the same time commitment--if not more. Clark College uses Canvas as a learning management tool for course delivery and communication with your professor and peers. Being familiar with the Canvas interface will set you up for success. We highly recommend that you carefully consider both your technical and learning skills described below before registering for an online class. In addition, consider that access to both high-speed Internet and a desktop or laptop computer, not just a mobile device, will be required.
Are You Ready for Online Learning?
Study the following information about what it takes to be a successful eLearning student, and take this short assessment quiz. Find your score, and then read these recommendations based on your score.
Online learning includes basic computer and technological skills that you may already have. Brushing up now to identify areas that you need improvement in will help make your online experience smoother. Necessary skills can include:
- Navigating and finding information on the Internet
- Using the Canvas learning management system
- Using email and/or the Canvas Inbox
- General word processing including creating/saving/opening documents
- Downloading and uploading files
- Using online media players and recording tools
- Using screenshots to show others what you are seeing on your computer
- Downloading and installing software
- Accessing publisher websites and/or resources
Learning and Digital Information Literacy Skills
Online classes require a different style of learning than traditional on-campus classes. For some, this style of learning can be a struggle and for others it can meld with their personal learning style perfectly. It's a good idea to know your learning skills before starting an online class. Skills that make a successful online student include:
- A general comfort with using reading and writing as a substantial means of learning
- Using online libraries and databases to locate and gather appropriate information
- Properly citing information sources
- Learning how to avoid plagiarism in all coursework
- Self-motivation and commitment to time-consuming tasks
- Good time-management skills and the willingness to put in the time necessary to complete the work
- The ability and willingness to communicate effectively and appropriately within a digital environment
- The ability and willingness to utilize critical thinking to analyze and evaluate your learning
- A positive attitude and grit when trouble-shooting and problem-solving
- Advocate for your educational success by pursuing assistance and available resources
What Makes a Successful Online Student?
For more information regarding what a successful online student looks like, check out this great article from the Illinois Online Network.
An updated, later-model computer system running Windows or Mac OSX with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser and access to Internet will be required.
Mobile devices can be used for some aspects of online learning, but a full-sized computer will be necessary for many tasks. If you don't own a computer, identify resources you can utilize throughout the course. During normal college operations, you can use the college’s on-campus student labs. Clark College also provides loaner laptops on a request basis that can be checked out through the Cannell Library. Contact the TechHub for more information.
Visit our Technical Requirements page to learn more.