While online courses are convenient and flexible, they also requires a combination of skills to succeed academically. Students must be self-motivated, disciplined and have strong time-management skills:
Tips for Successful Online Learning
Treat an online course like a real course, because it is a real course!
- It is important to have the discipline to treat the online course as you would an in-person course. While you can be flexible as to when you choose to complete your work during the week, you can't put it off indefinitely.
- Review updated syllabi for changes and information regarding transitioning to the online environment. Make sure you have all of your course materials available. Ask questions as needed.
Hold yourself accountable.
- Continue working towards the academic goals you set at the beginning of the semester and check in with yourself regularly.
- If you prefer to study in groups, form a virtual study group on Google Meet (Google Hangout) or Zoom.
- Pay attention to emails from SBU as e-communication is very important at this time.
Focus on time management
- Continue your routine - virtually : The perk of flexibility with online learning is convenient but it can require more discipline to manage time accordingly. Just like you did in person, create a weekly schedule that you follow, designating certain hours each week to reading, watching lectures, completing assignments, studying and/or attending online virtual office hours.
- Time blocking : Allocate enough time for tasks. This might take practice and might need to be adjusted from the time blocking you used when classes were held in-person. Be realistic and allow for short breaks during your study sessions.
- Weekly check-ins : While you adjust to online learning, reflect on how much time you are dedicating to course readings, assignments, and practice problems to gauge whether you are underestimating and overestimating the time it takes to complete tasks. Reach out for help from TAs and professors in a timely manner if you find yourself struggling with a topic or assignment.
Create a regular study space and eliminate distractions.
- Routine workspace : Setting up a dedicated workspace/learning environment can make it easier to establish a routine. Experiment to discover which type of setting boosts your productivity. Wherever you choose, make sure there is consistent internet access while participating in live lectures.
- Organization : Knowing exactly where important dates, files, forms, syllabi, books, and assignments live will help keep you on track.
- Focused work time : When learning remotely, you can be faced with many distractions that can easily derail your studies. Establish specific focused work time to limit these distractions.
- Regardless of when and where you choose to complete your studies, consider turning your cell phone off to avoid losing focus every time a text message or app notification pops up. If this is a struggle, consider downloading an app that will block these alerts for a set period of time. (Ex: Cold Turkey and Freedom)
Actively participate and leverage your resources.
- Participate in the course’s online forum to help you better understand course materials and engage with peers.
- If you sense yourself falling behind, speak up. Don’t wait until an assignment is almost due to ask questions or report issues. Be proactive in asking for help.
- Participate in course discussion boards on Blackboard.
- Take advantage of virtual office hours.
Self Regulated Learning Lab - a tool that you can use to assess how you currently manage your time, you stay motivated to keep learning & your current learning strategy. Complete the assessment and discover additional ways to improve each skill.
Guide to Group Work - these resources can help inform you about the nature of group work, about what you should expect and the expectations teachers have of you in group learning situations.
SUNY Learning at a Distance Resources - resources for applying and studying
Technology Guide for Stony Brook students - everything you need to know about our technology services and tools!
Most online courses (though not all) use Blackboard , Stony Brook University's learning management system (LMS). Blackboard includes a variety of features that allow instructors and students to do anything from uploading course documents, to posting an announcement, to collecting and grading assignments. Blackboard is available 24/7, from any computer with internet access.
Instructors of online courses frequently use Blackboard to:
- Post online announcements
- Post course content (ex: syllabi, videos, podcasts, handouts, presentations, etc.)
- Send e-mails to students at their Stony Brook e-mail address (Google)
- Pose questions for online discussions
- Collect and grade assignments/assessments
- Manage your grades and/or make them visible to you
- Create groups for discussions and projects
- And much more...
The Blackboard App can be downloaded on many smartphones and tablets.
- Blackboard Learn: For Students : Complete series of short video tutorials to help students use the various Blackboard Learn tools to be successful online.
- Working in Your Course : A playlist to help students learn how to access course content, take tests, turn in assignments, and other course related activities.
- Staying Organized and Communicating : A playlist to help students use course tools to communicate and and manage course work.
- Setting Your Preferences and Environment : A playlist to help students customize their Blackboard experience and set their preferences.
- Academic and Transfer Advising Services: Have questions about choosing the right course? Contact an advisor today.
- Stony Brook Bookstore: Order your books before classes begin.
- Bursar: For help with billing and payment.
- Counseling and Psychological Services: CAPS staff are available by phone, day or night.
- Student Accessibility Support Center (SASC): Students in need of special accommodations should contact SASC.
- Library: Access to online databases, electronic journals, eBooks, and more!
- Registrar: Having a registration issue? Let us know.
- Writing Center: Students are able to schedule face-to-face and online appointments.
Support is available for students M-F 8:30am - 4:30pm. Students can report an issue online at: or call 631.632.9800
Stony Brook School of Nursing Online program students ONLY:
SB School of Nursing using a different blackboard system. You can log in at: https://sbsn.blackboard.com/ If you need assistance logging into please contact the School of Nursing Technical Support Line at 631-444-7505 or email: SON_IT_Help@stonybrook.edu.
Division of Information Technology prepared the following guide, outlining the major tools which students in Stony Brook are using, including Solar System, Wireless Network WolfieNet, Academic Tools, such as Blackboard, etc. To access the guide, please go to https://it.stonybrook.edu/students.
GET TO KNOW BLACKBOARD
Blackboard is the primary learning management system used in most programs at Stony Brook. You'll use it to access course material, online lectures, discussion boards, and interactive multimedia content.
Note: The appearance of your course's content in Blackboard may differ from the presentation above based on your academic unit.