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Success in Online Learning

Online Student Success

A common myth is that online classes will be "easy." Yes, online students don't have to commute to campus and can attend an online class anytime or anywhere. It is also important to remember that online classes are as challenging and rigorous as on-ground classes.

In general, successful online learners share these common traits:

Self-motivation: A driving force to achieve a goal because of your own enthusiasm or interest, without needing pressure from others. It means you are capable of hard work and effort without the need for encouragement.

Strong reading and writing skills: You will be a successful online learner by reading class material and participating in written discussions. Reading and writing are the primary form of communication in an online class and the quality of your written communication is vital.

Basic computer skills: To succeed in an online class, competence is recommended in the following:

  • Basic PC and website navigation
  • Microsoft Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Office 365)
  • Folder and File Management
  • Web browsers (Firefox, Chrome and Safari)
  • Media Players (YouTube, QuickTime)

Time management: A set of practices to help you get more value out of your time with the aim of improving the quality of your life. Some of the skills associated with time management include:

  • Planning
  • Prioritizing
  • Goal setting
  • Scheduling


To get a visual idea of what it takes to be successful online and to get an idea of what is included in the Introduction to Online Learning, download the Information Guide (PDF).

You can use the following calculator to find the expected weekly time investment for one class.

Student Perspectives

Scheduling time for work, school, family and other obligations is part of the collective college experience. Many students find the flexibility in online and hybrid classes provides a great alternative. Those who are new to online learning may not know what to expect.

Straight from your fellow Macomb students, here are some of the advantages to taking online classes and how to be prepared for the challenges.

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