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Tips for Successful Online Learning

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

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A new semester has started at SBMI and for many of our newest students, this is their first experience with online learning. Our school strives to optimize the educational experience of each of our students so our Distance Education team has compiled some tips for successful online learning.

Back to the Basics

Here are some fundamental items that all SBMI students, new and returning, need to keep in mind each and every semester.

  • Check your UTHealth email address frequently. That is how both faculty and staff communicate with students. You do not want to miss important information regarding assignments, funding opportunities or upcoming events.
  • Do not stress if you are new to online courses. Just make sure you login to your courses on the first day of class and check out the first module of content. Keep up with your course activities and assignments at least once a week. If you have questions regarding what activities you are supposed to complete, please contact your instructor for information.
  • Our staff is here to help. Whenever you encounter a technical issue with online learning systems, please email [email protected] so a ticket can be created by the Distance Education team for troubleshooting.

Tech Talk

There are many technological considerations when you start an online degree program as well so here are some pointers.

  • SBMI courses are taught via two online learning systems. Most classes are taught using Canvas and some courses are housed in Moodle. Students will use the same LDAP login username and password for email, learning systems and MyUTH.
  • Online quizzes and exams are proctored. Before starting a quiz or exam confirm the when it is due and read the instructions provided in the course to prepare your computer. Familiarize yourself with the proctoring procedures long before your assignment needs to be submitted.
  • Confirm that your computer has all the necessary software you need for online learning. SBMI’s computer requirements webpage can help with that process. It also includes links to get plug-ins and/or download the latest version of web browsers.
  • Make sure your computer has the proper internet connect also. A wired connection is more stable and reliable than are wireless connection. This is especially important when students take online quizzes and exams.

The Best of the Rest

Here are some miscellaneous items that students will find very helpful.

  • You can participate is some courses via your mobile device. If you are enrolled in a course that offers an in-person section, download the GoToMeeting & GoToTraining app, which is available on Android and iOS, to join a live online course from your phone.
  • Upload a profile picture in Canvas and Moodle. It is easy to do and it helps instructors and your fellow students put a face to your name. Use an image that looks professional; your LinkedIn profile picture would be best.
  • Please be courteous when you interact with others, both in person and online. When you are participating in a forum discussion, working with your classmates via email or asking questions in the chat window during an online meeting, follow proper "netiquette" and try to avoid using all caps or multiple exclamation points as these tend to be signs of shouting or hostility. When in-person interaction is absent, your communication is mostly mediated by technologies, which may require even more attention to detail. Please keep in mind that many of the students, faculty and staff that you get to know during your graduate study may become important connections in your professional network.