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Basic Tips for Your First Week in the Online Classroom

Basic Tips for Your First Week in the Online Classroom

Learn more about degree programs at American Public University.

By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, Online Learning Tips

For some people, taking an online class may feel unusual, especially when you can’t physically meet your classmates or instructor. Here are some tips to help you through your first week:

  • Classes open at 6 a.m. ET on the first Monday of each month (check your class schedule to determine for the exact start date of your class).
  • Log in at least once to the online classroom during the first week of your class and submit a forum post of at least 250 words by 11:59 p.m. on the following Sunday. This is an essential requirement. If you do not submit your first forum post by the deadline, you will be dropped from the course.
  • Your initial forum post is your way of introducing yourself to your instructor and classmates. Include some background information about yourself, your area of study and your career goals.
  • Take the time to read and comment on other students’ and your instructor’s forum posts in the online classroom. Throughout the class, your fellow students and instructor are a great resource; they can provide valuable insights based on their own education and experience.
  • Download the syllabus, read it carefully and take note of upcoming assignment deadlines on your calendar. Print out the syllabus or keep a copy on your desktop, so you can refer to it easily.
  • Plan out a schedule for getting your reading and assignments done and budget enough time every day for studying and assignments. That way, you won’t have to scramble at the last minute to finish your homework.
  • Become familiar with the proper citation style for your academic program. If you’re not sure of what style you should use, the APUS Library has program style guides organized in alphabetical order.
  • The APUS Library also has useful writing tips and other resources. Get to know it thoroughly.
  • If you run into technical issues (such as a video not playing or you’re having difficulty accessing other content), promptly contact Classroom Support for assistance.

Staying motivated is the key to success in the online classroom. If you experience concerns or have questions as you take a class, contact your instructor or Student Support. Remember: we’re here to help you.

Live phone support is now available 7 days a week!