How to Successfully Learn Online

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Technology Access and Skills

Make sure you have access to the necessary technology and skills to use it. Find out if your computer system is compatible at the Learn@UW River Falls web site.

You also need to be able to use a computer for tasks such as:

  • creating a document using word-processing software
  • retrieving, editing, and saving a document
  • logging on and navigating the Internet using a browser
  • sending and receiving e-mail messages, including those with attachments

Some classes may require you to view PowerPoint presentations or videos.

Study Tips for Success

Even more so than with a face-to-face class, you must be motivated and take an active role in learning. Self-discipline and time management skills are critical for success in a learning environment where there are no reminders to participate. It helps to block time during the week and create a quiet, convenient place where you plan to work on course-related activities.

Become familiar with the online course management software (i.e. Desire2Learn) early on. Stay on schedule with course activities and due dates and participate in all class activities and discussions. If you are confused or have a specific need, it is important to contact your instructor to ask for assistance.

You need to be able to communicate well in a written format. Carefully consider the content and tone of your messages before you send them.

What Faculty Say About Online Learning

“A significant part of graduate level professional development is the contact with other people with other backgrounds and experiences. The online learning environment allows the overall experience to become more diverse – and provides richness.” — Judy Freund, instructor

“As an online instructor, I have been challenged to be flexible, continue to update/upgrade my technology skills, collaborate with students and allow 'control' to be in the hands of my students. In working to achieve these, I have enjoyed the ability to work anywhere, anytime and develop close professional relationships with my students. I’m excited that I can communicate with students in my class from a neighboring town, from across the state or from a plane coming home from Ireland.” — Wanda Erwin, instructor

“I have been simply amazed at students’ responses to online classes. Students are telling me they are so excited to be learning new skills online while they meet and discuss with other students, doing it on their own schedule. I have adjusted my teaching strategies for the online environment. My goal as an instructor is to ensure I do everything possible to ensure a student succeeds.” — Stan Potts, instructor


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Outreach and Continuing Education
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(715) 425-3256 or (800) 228-5607
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