The Essential Hub for Distance Learners

Got Access? 5 Things you Must Do

by edgab


Woman on computer

Okay, so you’ve signed up for your online classes and have access to your online course site. Now, you sign in to the course Learning Management System (LMS) and freak out…there’s information everywhere!! Don’t stress! Online courses provide students with more than enough information on its course page. The problem is navigating the site and determining what you need to do with it all and when.  Here are 5 things you must do as soon as you have access to your course.

1. Review the Course Information

Most online instructors post requirements and expectations they have, such as discussion post requirements or participation expectations.  In your online class, look for pages or documents that indicate course-specific information, such as “About this Course” or “Course Information“. Go through this information to understand how you can get a good grade in your course.

2. Introduce Yourself – ASAP

For classes that have a week 1 discussion asking everyone to introduce themselves, do this right away. You’ll immediately be on your instructor’s good side.

If, for some odd reason your class doesn’t have this discussion, send a short email to your instructor introducing yourself and letting her/him know how excited you are about the course (even if you’re not).  This will help you to start on your instructor’s good side.

3. Write Down all Due Dates

Use the syllabus and/or calendar to write down all due dates for assignments.  Use a calendar, your phone, or a planner. Consider color-coding your calendar based on the course or using the course title so you know what class the date’s referring to in your planner.

4. Download the Free Course Materials

Most online classes provide you with free copies of reading assignments and textbook chapters. Download these right away so you can complete these assignments at any time and even without internet access.

5. Read the Syllabus

We get it! The syllabus? really? Yes. The syllabus is your map to course success.  Read it over to learn about things like the attendance policy, late policy, assignments, projects, and contact information for your instructor.  If you prefer a hard copy, print it out and store in your course-specific binder or folder.


What other things help you prepare for your course? Share your tips below!

Hey! Any thoughts?