Success Tips for Online Learning

Phi Theta Kappa – Alpha Omicron Beta Chapter

Learn to B.R.E.A.T.H.E.

Be on Top of Readings

Most teachers will have a unique schedule:

  • One tip is to learn your schedule and start readings as soon as possible. 
  • Make sure to read your class syllabus, which usually provides reading deadlines.
  • By reading early you are allowing time for the information to sink in, as well as encouraging a period to reflect and relate.
  • Reading the material is the main source of content in an online course.

Remember Deadlines

The easiest things to do to remember deadlines are:

  • Keep a planner or use the Google calendar.
  • Update phone calendar and set task alarms.
  • The first week of class check the syllabus and place homework deadlines on your calendar. The syllabus is usually found under content on D2L.
  • Check D2L regularly for change or updates in the schedule.

Expect the Unexpected

Make sure to expect the unexpected. Being flexible in unexpected circumstances is important. Remember to:

  • Remain calm.
  • Let your teacher know right away if there is a problem.

Ask Questions

Teachers and facilitators are there for YOU. 

  • Contact information is usually labeled at the beginning of the syllabus. If not, ask for their contact information. 
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to ask a question. 
  • Do not be afraid to send a brief e-mail asking for clarification, or stop in during office hours.
  • Teachers also often have an on-line DISCUSSION board where students will be asked to post any questions they may have, because often if you are wondering about something related to the class, other people are too.
  • If it is a question of a personal nature, email the teacher who will respond privately.
  • Keep in mind your teacher may not get back to you right away, it may take a day or two.
  • They want to see you succeed just as much as you do.

Time Your Schedule

Schedule time for each day to do readings, research, postings, studying, etc. It is easier to make something a requirement for the day rather than to hope for some time after everything else is done. Also: 

  • Identify your most productive time of the day to do mental tasks and if possible set that time of day to do homework.
  • Identify your own ideal study habit, make time for study breaks, but do not use them as a distraction. For example, learn when study breaks add to versus detract from your studying.
  • A tip for parents with children is to set up an amount of time to play, help with homework, etc. before working on material; this will limit distractions. It can also ease a parent’s worry about taking time away from family; all needs can still be fulfilled.

Help Yourself to Assistance

There are many places online to get help:

  • Online Tutoring: Make an appointment online at the Inver Hills Learning Center. You can also use, which offers tutoring 24/7. On the D2L homepage, go to “Resources” and click on “”
  • Google Docs: Interactive document in which group members can all work online at the same time.
  • Pager Tool: On D2L, helps get the attention of classmates or your teacher if you have an urgent question.
  • Form online peer study groups. An instructor is generally more than willing to open a discussion board for students who show an interest in further or more in-depth learning.

Engage in Discussions

Posting early in the week will give you the option of choosing the posts to which you want to respond through the rest of the week.

  • Most teachers do not accept the “11:59” discussion post as participation.
  • Plus, being the last student to post may be a headache in finding something that has not been previously said.

Additional Success Tips

Tips for Instructors

Teachers, thank you for all you have done to help your students succeed. Thank you for being flexible, resourceful, creative, and kind. We are grateful for the work that you do.


Be Honest

If this is your first time teaching online, let your students know. You don’t have to be an expert!


Be Human

Don’t worry about being perfect! Your lectures don’t need to be flawless. If you make a mistake, keep going. Mistakes make you more relatable to students.


Be Interactive

Consider video feedback when grading papers. Put a video of yourself in your lectures. Ask for students’ feedback. 

Get The Technology You Need

ZOOM, D2L, Chromebooks, Tech Support, and More

Online Tutorials and Guides

Email is the official communication method for the college, including your instructors. Make sure emails from do not go into your junk mail by whitelisting them.

Need an EDU email account?

The college provides each student an EDU email account in the Microsoft Office 365 system. We don’t require its use but it can be used as your personal email address like any other email account. To log into your EDU account:

  • Go to
  • Login with <YourStarID> and use your StarID password
  • Follow the directions presented to start using your email account.

The subscription is free as long as you’re an active student enrolled in a class.

Run Check Now

Verify that your computer meets the technology requirements for taking online courses. Contact Information Technology Services for help with any technology related to online learning, and to access user guides for technology you will be using for online courses – including D2L Brighspace and Zoom

D2L Brightspace is our online classroom. Within D2L you will find assignments, grades, messages from your instructors and much more.

Assistance with campus technology is available in-person, by phone or using email. Business hours on days classes are held are shown below. Business hours on days classes are not held can vary so calling ahead to make an appointment is advised.

Remote Assistance

Many problems can be resolved remotely. Remote assistance can be requested using the Requesting Help with Campus Technology web form or by calling 651-450-3444. ITS personnel strive to reply within one business day.

Evening and Weekend Help

D2L Brightspace help is available in the evening and weekends from the Minnesota State D2L Brightspace Helpdesk . A link to that support service is also available from within D2L Brightspace in the Help menu.

nver Hills Community College Information Technology Services is providing Microsoft® Office 365 ProPlus to students at no cost via the Microsoft® Student Advantage program. Each student may install this software on up to five devices.

The subscription is free as long as you’re an active student enrolled in a class.

Downloading Microsoft® Office 365 Pro Plus for free is easy! Access is tied to your Inver Hills Community College StarID account.

Read more and find the installation guides based on what computer you have here:

Printing is available in all rooms with computers available for student use: Online Services Center, B116, Writing Lab, Math Lab, CC117, and Vets Lounge. The computers in those spaces are configured to print to the printer in that area.

Printing is paid for using technology fee funds so we ask that you print only school-related documents.

Printing for student organizations is provided through Student Life. Please see your club advisor or the Student Life staff to produce handouts, flyers, or other materials.

Print from Your Wireless Device

You can print from your wireless device while connected to the IHCC wireless network. Your document will be printed by a printer in the Enrollment Center area on the second floor of the College Center building.

What Device Do You Have?

Each type of device and operating system has different instructions. Select your device and operating system from the list below.

Related Topics

Wireless Network

Your StarID will expire every 180 days, so when prompted, make sure you reset your password.

Zoom is our web conferencing tool. If your instructor sets up a Zoom conference, you will be invited to attend, and a link will be provided to connect.

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