Words of collective wisdom for future online students

Submitted by students who helped pioneer online courses at Adler Graduate School…


  1. Remember that you must be self-motivated, online windows open and close, just like deadlines in the traditional classroom. Read all the news updates on the forums to keep track of due dates. Don't put assignments and papers off until the last minute
  2. Always try and have assignments done a few days ahead of the due date, just in case there is a "cyber" error, website down, computer not working right, internet down temporarily, all the things you wouldn't consider in the traditional setting can happen.
  3. Make sure to do the readings. It is very difficult to post discussions or answer the discussions unless you have read. Read ahead of time if you can.
  4. Online classes can be convenient and an equally rewarding and beneficial experience. Things to do and not do: One just has to make certain to keep up with the readings each week, especially in light of the fact that weekly postings and outlines are due every few days. For classroom courses, one may be able to once in a while put off the assigned readings for another week, but this is not possible for online courses. Finishing the assigned readings in a timely fashion is of the utmost importance. Finishing the readings a few days in advance and having a general plan for your "significant posting" is ideal.
  5. Helpful and not helpful: Pay especially close attention to the ancillary resources your instructor provides. There may be glossaries, quizzes, links to videos, etc. Taking advantage of these resources will only help in the long run. They are easy to neglect, but doing so is not wise. Think of them as handouts one would receive in the classroom
  6. Single most useful thing to know: You will have postings and/or outlines to do right off the bat. This may not be the case in the classroom. Expect to devote a couple of hours each day for readings, planning, postings, supplementary resources, etc.
  7. Make a schedule of when you plan to do items for the week and stick to it! Schedule time for reading and time for writing
  8. Take note of what materials catch your eye, touch you motivationally, etc. by using a post-it note. It's much easier to write about something which has heart in it for you. I feel that it's helpful to balance purely intellectual response material to the readings, and personal experience and insight.