Success in Online Learning

Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to commit to your success in online learning. Here are some tips and resources to aid you in your educational journey at Bates.

Common Online Learning Mistakes

  • Assuming because it’s online, it will be easier. Though some class requirements will be different, you will be asked to meet the expected outcomes of the class regardless of delivery.
  • Ignoring technical requirements. To access your online classes, you will need to have a laptop or smartphone capable of accessing Canvas and a reliable internet connection. If you lack access to these resources, email Library Services at and your advisor for assistance in checking out equipment.
  • Procrastinating on assignments. Making time can be difficult, but it is important to stay on top of your class material. If you are struggling with time constraints, please communicate such difficulties with your instructor.
  • Not reaching out to your instructor when struggling. It’s easy to feel isolated and alone when taking online classes, but your instructors are there to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out when struggling.
  • Not being an active participant in class. By actively participating, you become more invested in the outcome, likely improving both your grade and the level of knowledge you take away from it.
  • Losing motivation. It’s easy to lose motivation with online classes. Without having a physical location to go to, it can feel less important than an in-person class. However, your online class results will impact your future just as much, and it’s important to stay focused.

How to Succeed in Online Learning

  • Treat your online class as you would any other class. Set goals, schedule your time, and stay on top of deadlines.
  • Practice time management. It’s easy to lose track of time when you have a week to watch a video for an assignment, but the more you schedule your time, the easier it is to reach your goals.
  • Create a regular time and place to study. This is not an option available to everyone, but if you can make a study/work-only space, it will benefit your learning experience.
  • Eliminate distractions. Cut down on background noises by wearing headphones, and do your homework in quiet spaces.
  • Figure out how you learn best. If you work best by listening, consider using SensusAccess to convert your course texts to MP3. If you work best in short bursts, chunk hour-long videos into segments. There is no right way to learn, and with online learning, you can find more ways to enhance your learning experience.
  • Actively participate in class. Take part in discussions and communicate with your classmates.
  • Communicate with your instructor. If you are having issues with any part of your class, from fulfilling assignments on time to difficulty accessing the internet, let your instructor know. Your instructor can only aid you with problems if they’re aware they’re happening.
  • Back up your assignments and essays. Canvas will not save your drafts if you lose internet access while uploading. Always use a word processor to save your work before submitting it online. You can access Microsoft Office for free using your Bates Email by using this link: