How to Succeed in an Online Course

We have heard from many counselors, instructors, and current students on what tips they think future online students need in order to be successful. Here are a few of their tips or suggestions:

Yes, you need reliable computer access with an internet connection. This is one of the KEY points to being successful in an online course. Please be truthful with your counselor when asking to sign up for an online course. Please see the Student / Parent Handbook for specific technical requirements.

Why do you want to take a class online? Is it because you work, can't fit a class into your schedule, or need this class to graduate? These might all be great reasons to be motivated to do well in a course. You need to be highly motivated to be successful in an online course. Students who keep up with assignments and due dates and aren't afraid to ask their instructors for help do well in online classes.

Do you have time during the week that you can dedicate to working on your online class? Online courses can require a lot of work at times, and are different than a class you may take at a traditional high school. Sure, you don't have to be logged in at 8:30 every morning to your class, but you do need to have time at least a few times during the week to log into your class, check for new announcements, read and participate in lessons and complete assignments or projects in a timely fashion. Some lessons or assignments can take just a few minutes, while others are a bit more in depth and require you to work independently for longer periods of time to complete them successfully.

Are you able to read and write at the high school level? Online courses require a lot of reading and writing at the high school level. You must be able to understand and follow written directions clearly in order to complete lessons and assignments successfully.

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The Parent Role in an Online Course

Your involvement can play a big part in helping your student achieve success in their online classes. Parents and guardians are encouraged to take an active role in learning about the activities that will be required for course completion. Class instructors will welcome contact with you and be happy to discuss your student's progress in their classes, so don't hesitate to contact them if you have any questions. Specific things that you can do to help your student include:

  • review all registration and course information with your student
  • help set up a good work space for the computer in your home
  • help your student set up a regular schedule for working on their assignments
  • be aware of when chat sessions are scheduled and help minimize schedule conflicts
  • ask questions about how the class is going and what your student is working on
  • contact CCPSOnline administrators or class instructors if you have any questions
  • Provide students the opportunity to take courses in an online high school diploma program
  • Provide students new to Chesterfield County the opportunity for course sequencing alignment
  • Provide students the opportunity to earn additional credits towards graduation
  • Provide home school/private school students the opportunity to enroll in a maximum of two classes per year, space permitting
  • Provide adult learners the opportunity to acquire a high school diploma

Communication is the key to helping a student in an online class. Communicate with your student often about their online classes. Watch for communication from the teacher—teachers will copy you on email communication. If you are concerned, please contact the teacher and our department.

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