Succeeding in an Online Course

10 Tips for Succeeding in an Online Course at Lake Superior College

  1. Create a study environment that works for you. That may mean quiet music or silence, bright lighting or dim, but find what makes you most productive. When possible, make this space organized, clean, and dedicated to your work.
  2. Be ready for the technical requirements of online/hybrid/hyflex learning. Use the LSC Online Skills course in D2L, learn about using Zoom, VidGrid, and Microsoft 365, and connect with the LSC Technology Help Desk when you need assistance. Need help with the basics? Try GCF Global.
  3. Familiarize yourself with each online course’s layout immediately. Each instructor will organize their course differently; it is your responsibility to understand where information and assignments are posted. If you are confused, contact your instructor.
  4. Log in to your D2L courses early and then daily or every other day. Online does not mean “complete at your own pace,” and instructors can issue a failure for non-attendance (FN) if you do not log in and complete assignments.
  5. Create a daily and weekly schedule for yourself. On-ground courses structure a student’s time, which may be helpful for many students. Online courses require you to create a schedule to structure your own time.
  6. Stay on top of deadlines, assignments, and projects. It may be easier to procrastinate in an online course, but it will not be any easier to catch up (and may be harder!). Look at course syllabi and be ready for upcoming deadlines and due dates. You may consider using your O365 Calendar to set reminders for yourself.
  7. Contribute to D2L discussions, speak up in a Zoom class, and connect with virtual campus activities and services. Pay close attention to course participation requirements, particularly for D2L discussions. Note if you need to respond to a classmate and how many times you need to do so.
  8. Assume online courses will be just as rigorous as on ground courses. Online courses meet the same course outcomes, have the same rigor, and will require the same time commitment as on-ground LSC courses.
  9. Take care of yourself. Make self-care part of your schedule and focus on getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and exercising.
  10. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Read your LSC email, talk to your instructors, and ask for help when you need it. You are not alone! LSC staff and faculty are available to assist you when you need support to be successful.

5 Additional Tips During COVID-19

  1. Use CARES Funding or your Financial Aid to support your online learning. If you lack adequate technology access, consider using your CARES or Financial Aid overage money to buy a computer or connect internet to your home.
  2. Contact the LSC Foundation if you need more assistance. The Foundation may have emergency grant funds to assist you.
  3. Buy laptops from LSC Bookstore. The bookstore sells refurbished laptops, and you can charge the purchase to your student account if you have financial aid coming. On-campus computer lab access is also available.
  4. Access Wi-Fi from the LSC parking lot. Wi-Fi extends a limited way into Lot 3 outside the T Building, and you may be able to access the internet by parking in the front row of Lot 3.
  5. Connect with services online. Most campus services moved online to serve students remotely during COVID-19. While some now offer limited face-to-face services, students can still connect remotely for convenience. See the FAQs and links for more information.

FAQs and Resources

Who should I contact if… Resource
I need clarification on my course assignment, requirements, or grades? Your instructor. Instructors may indicate preferred method of contact (e.g. email, phone, D2L) on their course syllabus.
I’m struggling with the content of my class(es)? Instructors are often happy to answer your questions, and the Tutoring and Learning Center has peer and professional tutors available to help for LSC students for free.
I’m having an issue with an instructor or course, and my instructor is not responding to me? Contact your advisor to connect with the dean of your course’s academic division (i.e. Liberal Arts and Science, Business and Industry, Allied Health). You should make every attempt to contact your instructor before contacting the dean.
I need help with my logins, Zoom , VidGrid, Microsoft Office, or D2L? LSC’s Technology Help Desk is available to work with you on technology-related problems. The Tutoring and Leaning Center also offers limited technology support.
I’m having mental health concerns? LSC Counselors offer free and confidential resources and support tailored to help you with a variety of concerns (i.e. abuse, anxiety, relationship issues, stress management, and much more).
I need changes to my class schedule or want to talk to someone about my degree progress? Advisors can discuss progress towards your degree and help you add, drop, or withdraw from a course.
I have a documented disability and may need accommodations in my courses? Disability Services provides access to programs, services, and activities to students with documented disabilities (permanent or temporary). Contact to discuss reasonable accommodations, including test taking accommodations, alternative text, early registration, sign language interpreters and adaptive equipment.
I need help with research? The Erickson Library staff is available to help you research and track down materials.
I need assistance in navigating loans, grants, student employment, and scholarships? Financial Aid specialists are available to help.
I simply do not have the funds I need to get by? The LSC Foundation may have emergency loans or grants available for LSC students.
I am struggling to afford groceries? The Intercultural Center hosts a food shelf open to the entire LSC community.
I need guidance in job or career topics or I’m unsure if I’m on the right career or educational path? Career Services will help you explore careers, network with employers, and prepare for job applications (including assistance with resumes, cover letters, and interview prep).

LSC Counselors offer free and confidential resources and support to help you plan for your academic and career goals.

Contacts and Resources

  • Instructor – Contact your course instructor to clarify assignments, explain course requirements, or discuss your grades. Instructors may indicate preferred method of contact (e.g. email, phone, D2L) on their course syllabus.
  • Tutoring and Learning Center – Free tutoring and academic support for LSC students. Contact when you are struggling in a course or want to improve your grades.
  • Advising – Guidance in course registration, degree requirements, and more. Contact to discuss progress towards your degree or to add, drop, or withdraw from a course.
  • Counseling – Free and confidential resources and support tailored to help you with career, academic and/or personal concerns. Contact to plan for your academic and career goals or to speak with someone about a variety of concerns (i.e. abuse, anxiety, relationship issues, stress management, and much more).
  • Contact your advisor to connect with the dean of your course’s academic division (i.e. Liberal Arts and Science, Business and Industry, Allied Health) if you do not receive a reply from your instructor or have other concerns about your course. You should make every attempt to contact your instructor before contacting the dean.
  • Erickson Library – Research and materials to support the educational experience and information needs of the Lake Superior College community. Contact for help with research and to check out materials.
  • Financial Aid – Assistance in navigating loans, grants, student employment, and scholarships. Contact about financial support for your education.
  • Career Services – Help with transitioning from student to employee. Contact to explore careers, network with employers, and prepare for job applications (including assistance with resumes, cover letters, and interview prep).
  • Disability Services – Access to programs, services, and activities to students with documented disabilities. Contact to discuss reasonable accommodations, including test taking accommodations, alternative text, early registration, sign language interpreters and adaptive equipment.
  • Intercultural Center – A service-driven space that is open to the entire LSC community. Contact for academic and support services as well as access to the LSC food shelf.
  • Help Desk/Tech Support – Assistance with your accounts and technology. Contact for help with your logins and for guidance on using the Office Suite, VidGrid, Zoom, or D2L.