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Student Orientation for Online Learning

Student Orientation for Online Learning

Are you considering taking an online or hybrid course for the first time? Have you enrolled in one but need guidance on how to get started?

Instructional Technology and Design Services (ITDS) has developed a guide for students interested in taking online or hybrid courses at Montclair State University and wishing to learn more about what they are like. It provides essential information for students to get prepared for taking online courses and will help you learn strategies and techniques to enhance your online learning experience. As you consider whether online learning is right for you, it’s important to keep in mind that choosing online or hybrid learning is different from in-person learning!

While online courses generally provide you with more flexibility and allow you to decide when and where to participate in lectures and complete coursework, you can still still expect to encounter deadlines and due dates. Your self-guidance, or self motivation, is critical to your success in an online course and managing your time appropriately. Your instructors expect students to be independent, to learn on their own, and to engage with the material that they are teaching. Rather than in-person interactions, you can expect communication in online courses to occur primarily through email, discussion boards, and other digital tools and technologies that might be integrated into your course.

This guide is designed to help you understand what online learning is like and provide you with some tips on how to succeed in online courses. Before you get started, you may want to take a Self Assessment for Online Learning Readiness Survey. This survey will help you identify your overall readiness for online learning!

Student Orientation for Online Learning

Guide Structure

The Student Orientation for Online Learning is a self-paced resource available on Canvas and is divided into the following sections:

  • What to Expect from Online Courses: This introductory module will provide you with strategies and knowledge necessary to begin (or enhance!) your online learning experience. It strives to best outline what is expected from a student participating in online courses here at Montclair State University. Additionally, it’ll cover some of the basics of netiquette and how to interact with your instructors and classmates in an online environment. Remember, online courses, just like in person courses, require you to be fully aware of your instructor’s expectations and requirements!
  • Succeeding as an Online Learner: What does it take to succeed in online courses? While online courses offer flexibility and convenience, especially for those juggling competing responsibilities and obligations, being a successful, efficient, and productive online learner requires you to demonstrate certain strengths and qualities as a learner. The second module goes over some of the strategies and qualities needed to excel in an online environment along with providing you with a better understanding of what university resources are available to help you succeed.
  • Getting Started on Canvas: When taking an online or hybrid course, your participation in Canvas is a key aspect of your learning experience. Prior to enrolling in in an online course, ask yourself this: how much experience do you have using Canvas? Do you consider yourself to be comfortable with Canvas? In this final module, you will learn best practices and techniques on how to best navigate and use Montclair State University’s Learning Management System (LMS) Canvas along with some tips and tricks to help you manage your time and keep track of upcoming assignment due dates.

For additional resources specific to Montclair Online, please visit their Student Resources webpage.