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how to be successful in online courses

timing of online classes

online classes are not self-paced. there will be deadlines for assignments, threaded discussions, quizzes, tests and projects. you will have flexibility of working on your coursework as it fits in your daily schedule.

tips for keeping track of due dates

some students have found it a little difficult to keep track of due dates with their online classes, because they don’t attend a regular class with an instructor reminding them when things are due. at the start of each class, you could put all due dates in your planner according to the syllabus or course schedule. another way to keep track, would be to put up a calendar, with all due dates, somewhere in your house or apartment that you will see every day. this will help remind you what is due that day and tomorrow.


be sure to check your email at least once a week. check both your iowa lakes email and the one you have provided the college. instructors and the college will send out important information to you through email.


instructors will use this option to update students on any changes to the schedule or as a reminder for upcoming deadlines. be sure to check this area for any new messages every time you log into your courses.

what to do if you are going to miss “class”

if you know that you will not be able to turn in an assignment, complete the discussion questions or complete a quiz/test on time, please let your instructor know. most of the time you will be able to submit an assignment or complete a threaded discussion ahead of the deadline. however, quizzes and tests may only be open for a certain amount of time. by contacting your instructor ahead of time, you may be able to work something out where you can still complete the assignment, quiz or test.

contacting your instructor

the instructor is a great resource for you. if you have questions or are struggling with the content of the course, contact your instructor. they are here to help you. your instructors contact information is in the syllabus of the course, usually at the top of the first page. you can also contact them through the canvas inbox. please pay attention to the response time listed in your syllabus. instructors are not required to respond immediately.

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