Tips for Success in an Online Course

Students working at computers in the library

Is online learning right for you?  We encourage you to watch this short video and take the quiz to learn more about what you can expect from an online course.

System Requirements for eClass

Before you begin taking online courses or face-to-face courses that heavily utilize eClass, check these recommended system requirements.

eClass requires industry-standard PC hardware components. Please ensure your system meets or exceeds the recommended baseline system recommendations. Contact us if you have any additional questions or specific needs.

Operating Systems Recommended
         Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Vista, 7, 8, 10
         Mac Mac OS 10.4.8+ (Intel-based)   (PPC-based NOT supported)
Processor 1.8 GHz or higher
Memory 4 Gigabytes
Network Bandwidth 1+ Mbps internet connection*
Applications Microsoft Silverlight 2.0+, Macromedia Flash 11+
Supported Browsers**        Chrome***, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 9+
Optimum Browser Google Chrome***

* If you are experiencing problems in the browser you are using, try using one of the other browsers from the list.
** For online only courses you need to have dedicated access to an internet connection. Access via a library or public internet will not be sufficient.
** If you are hosting and Adobe Connect session or screen sharing during a session, please use Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. Currently Adobe Connect in Chrome does not allow screen sharing.
***Students requiring the ProctorU or UCard service require Google Chrome, other browsers are not supported. A functioning webcam will also be required for identity verification.

Additional Requirements

Some courses may have specific requirements beyond the baseline provided above. Any specific requirements should be listed in the course syllabus. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding needs in your course.

Due to recent legislation Southern Adventist University must have authorization from each state in which they wish to offer online education. Check this page for information on your state of residence.

How to Be Successful in an Online Learning Environment

Online courses offer the freedom and flexibility to complete coursework anytime and anywhere. This freedom means you are responsible for managing your learning environment. Online courses require just as much work as face-to-face courses do, and sometimes can feel as though they require more work depending on your learning preferences (Ericksen, 2014).  The following skills will help you stay on track and be successful in your online courses.

Tech Skills

  • Begin by understanding the tech requirements for the program.
  • Evaluate your internet access and computer hardware to ensure it meets the requirements of the learning environment.
  • Familiarize yourself with the learning platform by completing all tutorials provided and by asking questions (Mock, 2015).


  • Communication with professors is critical to success in the online learning environment.
  • Promptly email professors when you have questions or concerns and make sure to take advantage of Q&A forums provided in the course.
  • Office hours in the syllabus are times when you can feel free to reach out to your professor by phone or video-conference.
  • Forming relationships with your online classmates is important too. Connect early and often to classmates via email and/or social media ("Tips," n.d.).


  • Create a study environment that contains the materials you need to accomplish assignments. Develop a consistent and convenient system for saving documents.
  • Take notes while reading course materials and watching online lectures or videos (Mock, 2015).
  • If you work better when you have hard copies of course materials, print them and keep them handy while you work.

Time Management

  • Create a schedule that includes regular and sufficient time to complete course assignments and stick to it.
  • Review assignments at the beginning of each course and create a calendar that contains all due dates.
  • Log into your class daily to check for course changes and to review course materials (Sheehy, 2012).


  • Successful online students are independent and persistent. When difficulties arise, they stay motivated and keep trying.
  • It is essential to avoid distractions and remind yourself regularly of the reasons why you are enrolled in an online course ("What makes," n.d.).


Ericksen, K. (2014, June 17). What I wish someone had told me BEFORE taking online classes [Web log post]. Retreived from

Mock, J. (2015, September 16). 7 tips for success when taking online courses. Retrieved from

Sheehy, K. (2012, January 13). 4 time management tips for online students. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from

Tips for taking online courses. (n.d.) Retrieved from

What makes a successful online learner? (n.d.). Retrieved from