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Online Learning & Videos on How to Use the Library

Six Strategies for Success in Online Courses


Taking online courses is a new experience for many students. You have a lot of flexibility in where and when you do your coursework. However, you'll have to create the structure of face-to-face learning on your own.

Here are our tips to help you develop the skills needed for online learning.


Treat Online Courses the Same as In-Person Courses

Online courses have the same academic expectations as face-to-face courses. It is up to you to decide when you are going to sit down and work, and then have the dedication to follow through. This is the biggest challenge we all face when working from home. 

One of the easiest ways to ensure you follow through is to set up a regular time for each class. (Your normal class schedule will work well for this!) This way, you will "show up" for class, just as you're use to, and you'll be off to the right start.


Create a Regular Study Space that Works for You

Whether it's a dedicated desk, a spot at your kitchen table or a comfy corner of your home, a regular work space will boost your productivity and help you stay organized. Try to always work in the same space, that way, when you sit down, your brain knows it's time to work. 

Try to find a study space that is quiet, and has the following:

  • a good internet connection
  • access to power/outlets nearby 
  • no distractions

**If working in a shared space, have headphones on hand for listening to lectures**


Stay Organized

Staying organized is key to success in any course, but especially for an online one. Organize all of your files, documents and workspace in a way that makes sense to you. Keep a copy of any work you do on your computer in case of any tech problems that require you to resubmit assignments. Don’t forget to take notes for readings and lectures just as you would in any other class.


Improve Time Management Skills

With an online course, your schedule is up to you. Strong time management skills will help you keep track of weekly classes, upcoming assignments and future tests/quizzes. Exactly how you manage your time will depend on your course load, assignments for a particular week, and learning style.

The following are some basic options you can use:

  • Make notes of upcoming assignments and tests on a calendar. You'll be able to visualize what's coming up and give yourself appropriate time to complete assignments.
  • Create a weekly schedule for classes. Some professors are choosing to do virtual classes on MS Teams, or Zoom. Keep track of when you need to log in by creating a schedule. (If your professor is posting videos, or moving to a more "independent study" version of online learning - a solid schedule can still help!) 
    • Follow your in-class schedule to block out learning time, and use it to complete readings, watch lectures, and participate in class discussions. Remember - as with in-person classes, you will also need to schedule time for proper studying and completing assignments outside of class time.
  • Create "check-in" points. Throughout online courses, you should check in with your schedule and calendar and make sure you are on track. Reflecting and adjusting will stop you from cramming at the end of the course!



Stay Connected with your Professor and Classmates

You are not alone! All of your classmates are taking the same online courses with you, and your professors are here to help. Many courses will feature discussions on LMS, just as they did for in-person classes. If your course lacks this, be sure to reach out and keep in touch in other ways - emails to your professor or attending remote Peer Tutoring sessions

Don’t be afraid to reach out and say “hi”—stay in touch, we're in this together!


Find Resources, and Use Them

The college has moved its resources online for students. College departments can be reached by email, learning modules are available on The Learning Portal, and the entire library website is dedicated to online support. Send us an email or use our online chat.

The following is a list of additional help offered to students:  


  1. Email your instructor 
    • Your instructor can help clarify assignments and instruction. Email them as soon as you need assistance.

  2. Peer Tutoring
    • Attend a virtual session led by other students. Peer tutors will work with you to review course content and work through problems together.
    • Visit our Peer Tutoring Page for more information and the schedule

  3. Student Success Learning Modules
    • These modules are available on the College Services tab of the Student Portal.
    • Learning modules and quizzes are available to help students understand different learning styles, stress management techniques, and note taking/reading textbook strategies. 

  4. The Write Place
    • A faculty-led tutorial for students wanting help with grammar, sentence structure, essays, reports, resumes, research, and documentation.

  5. Informal Study Group
    • Form an informal study group within your class or program to support each other and your learning activities. Group chats, email lists and video calls are some of the ways you can keep in touch. 



Ron Doyle Library
Sault College
443 Northern Avenue
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6B 4J3
(705) 759-2554 ext. 2711

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