An important step toward becoming a successful online student is completing this orientation. Doing so will equip you with knowledge and tools that increase your likelihood for success as an online student.
SmarterMeasure o Not everyone has the learning style or technology skills to be successful in online courses. If you have not already done so, you may want to take a few minutes to see if you are ready for distance learning. The SmarterMeasure diagnostic tool assesses your likelihood for succeeding in an online course. It measures self-motivation, time-management skills, self-discipline, reading comprehension, persistence, availability of time, and the ability to use a computer, printer, software, and the Internet. You will receive an immediate score and diagnostic interpretation of the results to help you decide if online courses are for you. You will know what your strengths and weaknesses are, giving you the opportunity to address them. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete the SmarterMeasure exam. The username is: nctcstudent and the password is: SmarterMeasure (case sensitive). SmarterMeasure is not a required part of this orientation.
Good Technical Skills o Make sure that you have the technical skills required for an online course. If you do not have those skills, take a computer course to acquire or improve your skills. You may want to take a few minutes to take the Evaluate Your Technical Skills quiz . It will cover the basic tasks you should be able to perform going into an online course.
Purchase Materials Early o Purchase all required materials (e.g., textbooks) early so you will be ready for the first day of class! If your course requires special software, purchase and install it beforehand too.
Login on the First Day o Online courses begin on the first Monday of the semester unless it is a holiday. If Monday is a holiday, online courses will begin on Tuesday. Read the course syllabus and the announcements your instructor has posted. This gets you off to a good start in the course. You will also impress your instructor!
Keep on Task o Online courses are NOT self-paced. You will have assigned due dates for exams, papers, participating in discussion forums, and other assignments. It is very easy to fall behind. Review the assignment schedule in your syllabus/course during the first week of class. Add these dates to your personal calendar. Click here to learn how to sync your course calendar with your personal calendar using the iCal feature in Canvas. Set aside time each week to work on your online course. Let your family and friends know that this is your class time, and ask them to keep interruptions to a minimum.
Plan Ahead o Do not wait until the last minute to do your assignments. If an assignment is due on Sunday at midnight, and you wait until Sunday at 10 pm to begin, you are not allowing for technical
problems that may arise. What if your computer crashes, or a thunderstorm knocks out power temporarily? These are NOT excuses for not completing your work. Your instructor expects your assignments to be submitted by the due date and time, and it is your responsibility as a college student to meet these expectations.
Self-Discipline o Online courses are NOT easier than traditional courses. Online courses have the same content and objectives as traditional courses, but often require a higher level of time-management skill and self-discipline (i.e., self-regulation). Do NOT take an online course thinking it is easier than an on-campus course.
Ask Questions o If you do not understand something about an assignment...ASK! Your instructor is there to help you. Do not fall behind in your because you are afraid to ask a question. Many