- Extremely Important: It is your responsibility to contact the instructor before the first day of the session. Think of it as showing up on the first day of class for roll call. The contact information is in the syllabus for the course.
- Arrange for regular, dependable, Internet access at home or locate a regular and reliable location for connectivity. The UTPB Student Computer Lab is located on the second floor in the Mesa Building, room 2215 - available with a valid UTPB student identification card
- If you are using UTPB e-mail, see main UTPB web site for link to WebMail. Go through the WebMail tutorial at Using UTPB WebMail
- Get to know your browser. Going through the Technical Requirements will help setup your computer and your Internet browser. Spend time surfing the Internet and getting used to it.
- Prior to the beginning of the semester after you have registered, you may login to the location of your online course at http://online.utpb.edu.
- On the first day of class your course will appear under My Courses. Spend time finding your way around in the class.
- Figure out what buttons do and what tools are being used.
- Make sure you have a syllabus for the course and read it carefully. It will answer most of the questions you have about how to succeed in the course.
- Obtain textbooks, study guides, software, and other course materials listed in the syllabus. Most materials are available from the UTPB Bookstore (http://tinyurl.com/utpbbookstore) from efollett.com online; On campus the UTPB Bookstore is in the Courtyard of the Mesa Building.
- Do take time to review all the help files your instructor lists in the syllabus especially for special plug-ins or software needed for the course. Software purchases may be done through the bookstore for instance Microsoft Office Suite if it is required.
- Print out or download pages for reference and review when you are off-line.
- Be sure to go through any tutorials provided or setup any special accounts such as
- Still Extremely Important: It is your responsibility to contact the instructor before the first day of the session. Get acquainted, report any problems, and let it be known you are there!
- In an online environment, it is not enough to just show up. You must actively participate, share information, tips and questions with your classmates and instructor.
Become part of the online community. Join in and let your thoughts be heard to enrich your online experience. Actively joining discussions will make you feel more like a member of the group.
- Look for FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) sections. Chances are someone has asked the same question you have and the answer is there.
- Remember, answers to some questions don't have to come from the instructor. Often other students will answer a question for you.
- Use e-mail, chat, or discussion board tools to ask questions of other students.
- Form virtual study groups to support each other in the class. Share tips, helpful suggestions, and questions.
- For many taking an online course is a new frontier. Even if you think your solution is obvious, someone in the class will appreciate your sharing it.
- Read your course syllabus thoroughly, refer to it often, and stay in close contact with the instructor.
- Worth repeating: It is your responsibility to contact the instructor before the first day of the session.
- Keep the contact information handy and use it. If you have trouble with the technology, use the phone to contact the 24/7 help desk, or call the instructor at the phone number given in the syllabus.
- If you are unsure about something, communicate it! No one can see that baffled look on your face, so if you need clarification or explanation, ask for it!
- Make notes on areas where you have questions or need help and actively seek out the answers from your classmates or instructor. It is very important that you be proactive, not waiting until there is a problem, in communicating with your instructor and classmates.
- If you run into difficulties, don't put off dealing with them. Phone or send an email to the instructor immediately. Most problems are easily solved, but we must know there is a problem first.
- If technical problems come up in your online course, use the 24 hour a day, 7 day a week through links in the courses or under the Help link that references 24/7 ticket submissions or phone calls support (toll free).
- Give yourself plenty of time to complete your assignments and prepare for tests. Treat your online course with the same dedication and effort you would devote to face-to-face courses.
- Staying on top of the weekly schedule of assignments is important to success. Most online courses have regular schedules to follow. Getting behind can be disastrous.
- Use the calendar or schedule and assignment pages to carefully plan your schedule and then stick to it, making special note of required assignments or tests.
- Do manage your time. You'll find that your time management skills are critical in an online class.
- Be patient with yourself by allowing extra time as needed to learn course content or new technical skills that may be unfamiliar to you.
- Be patient with others in the class and show consideration in your comments, emails and chats. When you send e-mail or place a comment on the discussion board, remember there is a person on the other side. If you disagree with someone, don't flame them by lashing out with harsh words or capital letters. All capital letters is the same as YELLING! You wouldn't yell at someone in a face-to-face class. Please do not yell at people. The rules of etiquette, Netiquette, apply in an online classroom as well.
- Read what you are going to send before you click the send button. In online communication, it is important to say things carefully and thoughtfully. Others can't see your smile when you make a sarcastic remark, or that you're angered by someone's statement. Write your messages so they clearly and respectfully convey your meaning.