Instructional Technology Resource Center

Are You Ready For Online Learning?

Tips for Being a Successful Online Student:

Taking an online course is very different than taking a traditional face-to-face course and not all students are prepared to be successful in the online environment. Review the following tips to be successful in an online course at Idaho State University (ISU):

  1. Recognize that online courses are NOT any easier than face-to-face classes, and in fact may be harder for some students.
  2. Read over all of the introductory materials and contact the instructor immediately if you have any questions.
  3. Assume an active role in the learning process; whether you are working alone, or in a group. Be open to contributing your ideas and perspective and be willing to comment on the subject you are studying. Also take an interest in what your classmates are saying and be willing to provide feedback to them and share ideas.
  4. Log on to your course every single day, or a minimum of 5-6 days a week. It is very easy to get behind quickly, so stay active in the course.
  5. Manage your time carefully. Schedule at least 2-3 hours per credit each week to work on your course and stick to your schedule. Certain courses may require more time!
  6. Do not procrastinate; follow the course schedule assigned by your instructor. If you need an external source to motivate you to do class work, then consider taking face-to-face classes instead.
  7. Locate resources to assist you in being successful in an online course, such as the Online Writing Lab, the Library article databases, or the Content Area Tutoring Center. Check out ISU's Student Success Center for these and other resources.
  8. Set aside a private space where you can study where you can work without interruptions.
  9. Make sure that you have the appropriate software and plug-ins necessary for the course. You will, for example, need the Firefox web browser to effectively utilize ISU Moodle-based courses. Moodle is the learning management system used by ISU.
  10. If you are unsure of your computer skills, develop them! See the additional skills resources below to improve your basic computer skills, learn the Firefox web browser, discover Moodle, and learn other useful tools used at ISU (including Google Apps).

Additional Skills Resources:

  1. Firefox for Beginners
  2. Handouts about Moodle for Students
  3. Student Tutorials YouTube playlist
  4. Video Tutorials for Students (on Moodle and other tools including Google Apps)

Additional Tools for Evaluating your Readiness for Online Learning:

  1. Is Distance Learning Right for You?
  2. What I Wish I'd Known about Distance Learning
  3. How to take Online Distance Education Classes
  4. Online Readiness Quiz
  5. What Kind of Computer/Software Will I Need to Take Online Classes?

Additional Help:

ISU Helpdesk

Register for Classes:

Now that you have considered the above questions and feel confident that you are ready to take an online course, go to the ISU Class Schedule page to register.


  • Idaho State University • 921 South 8th Avenue • Pocatello, Idaho, USA 83209
  • About ISU
  • Contact ISU
[an error occurred while processing this directive]