Being an Online Student

Two students working on laptop computers.

Being a Successful Online Student


Online learning provides you with lots of flexibility – you get to decide when and where you will learn! This is great for the busy life-styles of today, where we try to juggle work, friends, family, and outside interests. Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, a full-time employee or a full-time parent, online classes allow you to structure your learning in ways best suited to your unique life! Now, to be honest, being an online student also requires a different kind of motivation and discipline – as you are in charge of managing your own workload. You will need time management, planning, Canvas, and communication skills.

Fortunately, you can easily learn these skills and we are here to provide you the tips, resources, and support staff necessary to help you be a successful student. We believe in providing exceptional care!


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Online student success

Online learning is not just an answer to scheduling problems. Even with a more flexible schedule, online courses still require the same amount of time as face-to-face courses.

  • Log-in to each online class a minimum of 4 days per week.
  • Block out 8 to 12 hours per week for each online class.
  • Schedule more time during the first few weeks of class to orient yourself to the online environment.
  • Break big tasks into manageable parts.

Ask for help

The online experience need not be an isolating one if you take steps to communicate with your instructor and classmates.

  • Recognize your instructor wants to help you succeed 
  • Be proactive in communicating regularly with your instructor, and peers
  • Take advantage of the excellent UVU resources such as tutoring and the math and writing labs
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help!

Student life success

Contrary to popular belief, online courses are typically not “blow-off” classes. They will  have similar academic rigor to their face-to-face counterparts. 

  • Treat your online classes like a job. Set daily goals and make checklists to work efficiently and independently. Accomplish small goals each day.
  • Plan ahead! Your life is busy and online classes provide flexibility. But it’s important that you plan specific times to do your work. Then stick with your schedule.
  • Remember you do have a life. After you finish your assignments, spend time with your friends and family. If you only do homework, you’re going to get burned out.

Stick with it!

Most importantly, don’t give up! It is important to understand that college is challenging and requires a great deal of effort to be successful. Because college is difficult, there may be times that you may struggle or even receive a failing grade. 

  • Learning is hard work. You are developing your mind. Your hard classes will likely be those in which you learn and grow  the most.
  • Maintain a positive attitude, spend more time on the subject, and ask for help. 
  • Keep the long view. Remember why you started college in the first place. 
  • Surround yourself with positive influences.