Tips for Success

Self-Motivation and Self-Discipline

Though there can be a great amount of freedom and flexibility in an online learning environment, it is important to remember that each online class has due dates for assignments and other requirements that must be met in order to complete a course. Succeeding in an online environment takes a serious commitment and willingness to be disciplined and highly motivated.


  • Log in your online class on the first day. Bellevue College has a very strict attendance policy  that students taking online or hybrid classes must follow.
  • Pay close attention to college deadlines and be sure to check with your instructor for specific class information and requirements.
  • Most online classes have assignments with the submission due dates and deadlines. Online course may also require you participate in projects, research assignments, and webinars, so make sure you read your course syllabus on the very first day of class to familiarize yourself with the course requirements.
  • If you have any questions about your course activities and assignments, always ask your instructor first. Be proactive and initiate a dialog with your teacher if you have any problems or questions.

Time-Management Skills

Many students take online classes because they have busy lives and work schedules. Though online classes allow for a great degree of flexibility and mobility, it is very important to manage your time wisely in order to be successful in a fully online environment.


  • Schedule time slots during the week that will be devoted to completing your online activities and assignments. Since online classes usually require more reading and writing than regular face-to-face classes, we advise you to create a schedule for each class you are taking. Your schedule may vary depending on the course you are taking. So pull out your syllabus and try to determine the rhythm of the class by looking at the following factors:
  • How much reading does this class entail?
  • How often does your instructor expect discussion board contributions? When are initial discussion board contributions due?
  • When are your exams and tests scheduled?
  • Are there assignments and papers? When are those due?
  • Are there any group or collaborative assignments? You will want to pay particular attention to the timing of any assignments that require you to work with others. They may take a longer time to complete when you are learning online because it can be more complicated to schedule times to get together.
  • Do not procrastinate! If you have an assignment that has a due date, login your course ahead of time to review all requirements and guidelines. If you have questions about a particular assignment, it is important that you contact your instructor in advance to clarify your questions. Due dates and course policies will vary depending on a course you are taking. So review your course syllabus as specific course policies are usually outlined in the syllabus.

Basic Technology Understanding

Students now take online courses using a wide range of devices, from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets. You may choose to do your schoolwork on one or more of these gadgets—it’s really about finding out which form of hardware best suits both your needs as a student and the requirements of the course. Your course may have some very specific technology requirements as well. So read your course syllabus as specific course technology guidelines are usually posted in the syllabus.


  • If you are going to buy a computer, select something reliable, and more importantly, make sure that you have access to a fast Internet connection (we recommend, but don’t require, a broadband connection). Slow computers and poor Internet connection can significantly increase the time it takes for you to access and complete the requirements for your online course.
  • If you struggle with a technical issue while taking your course, we can help. Technology Help Desk is here to support you. Read more on this website: Canvas at Bellevue College

If you experience problems with Canvas, follow these steps to troubleshoot your technical issue:

  1. Switch to another browser. We recommend you have several browsers installed on your computer. Read more about which browsers Canvas supports on this website: Browsers Supported by Canvas.
  2. If this is not a browser-related issue, it is always a good idea to contact your instructor. Though your instructor may not have technical expertise to solve your problem, they can recommend a good solution.
  3. If your technical issue is still not solved, you can contact our Technology Help Desk for assistance: Student Help Desk Support

Last Updated October 20, 2020