So, you are registered for online courses next semester.

How will this work? What should you prepare for? You may be just finishing up a semester of attending face-to-face classes and real-time lectures in 50-minute bursts. On the other hand, you may have “forgotten about” your online courses on a regular basis.

Here is a list of seven things that your professor probably wants you to remember.


You need to log in at least three times a week to keep up with the course.

Yes, this is mandatory. No, you cannot skip a week and expect to catch up later!

Set up an electronic calendar with reminders to bug you until you log in and participate. My favorite calendar is Google Calendar, but Zoho Calendar and 30 Boxes are also decent free calendars.

The hours you would have attended class are translated into hours you may have to sit behind the screen.

As much as we would like to tell you otherwise, online courses take time to complete well. Know this going in, and you will not be surprised by how much time it takes to do well!

UMHB Student working on online classes in her dormSchedule time each week to work on your online classes.

Plan on logging in and working on your online classes Monday mornings, Wednesday afternoons, and Saturday mornings (or pick three other consistent times during the week). This way, you will treat your online classes as part of your schedule, and not forget about them.

Get to know online resources available to online students.

Use tutor.com, turnitin.com, and other “free to UMHB” student sites. Also, make use of the incredible free resources in the library.

Online Professors like student interactions, too!

Even though we teach online, we still like to hear from students and we still like to hear about how the content of our courses (much of which we labored over to present to you in an online format) make a difference in your everyday life. How will you use them in the future? How do you see them as a valuable part of what you want to do when you graduate? Be sure to share these things with us!

Set up your courses to send e-mail updates for discussion boards and new course content.

If Dr. Reallygood Professor sends out an announcement in the middle of the week, you want to be sure to read it – she may provide a clue to one assignment that you need to get started. Then, remember to check your official school e-mail every day (but that’s another blog post!).

It’s okay to reach out to professors for clarification through e-mail and course messaging.

We would rather you do this than turn in a below-par assignment because you didn’t understand the directions. Ask us to explain it in a different way, or send us your draft (way early) to see if you are on the right track.


This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some things to keep in mind when you are taking an online course. Log in at least three times a week, prepare for multiple hours of work each week for each class, schedule time each week to work on each class, use online resources, and connect with your professors.

These minor things will make a major difference in your online experiences in college!

UMHB offers a fully-online degree-completion program called MyWay, and it might be a fit for you! We invite you to check out our website to learn more about our online programs.