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Students and instructors interacting in person and over computers

Succeed Online

Is Online Learning Right for Me?

Online learning places a higher degree of responsibility on you as a student, so you may have questions about what you can do to prepare. If you’re planning to enroll in online courses, here is some information that you should know to help you be successful.

What to Expect

What is the online learning experience like, and how will course material be presented to me?

The online learning experience can be rich and effective, but this will depend in great degree upon your own effort and involvement. Course material for online courses at CSI will be delivered via Canvas, which you can access from a web browser using a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, or via a smartphone app. Generally, using the Canvas app should be limited to checking announcements or course notifications and not for completing assignments.

How will I interact with my instructor and other learners? 

The interaction between instructor and students and among students in a course is an important element of online learning - and will help you to avoid feeling disconnected, alone, or unmotivated. Canvas can facilitate many types of communication and interaction, including announcements, discussion boards, group assignments, video conferencing, and more. Be sure to set your Canvas notifications right away so you don’t miss any messages and can remain connected to course activity.

What qualities will help me as an online student?

People who learn effectively in an online setting are typically: 

  • Self-motivated  
  • Ready to take responsibility for their own learning and accept the challenge of being an independent learner 
  • Able to budget their time effectively and meet deadlines 
  • Willing to check email, course postings, and participate in other course communication regularly 
  • Comfortable with technology, especially technologies like web browsers, email, learning management systems like Canvas, and web conferencing technology like Zoom 
  • Prepared to be proactive and contact their instructor when they have questions or concerns about the course 
  • Able to communicate well in writing 
  • Aware that the flexibility inherent in many online courses does not mean the course will be easy

Strategies to Help You Succeed Online

Success in online courses requires a little added effort and planning. Whether you've taken an online course before or not, a good review of a few practical tips will help you do well, and be ready to succeed in any online learning environment. Click to watch the following video showing tips for online learners: