Introduction to Online Learning
Here’s a quick orientation to get you started. We’ll introduce you to our online ‘classroom’, and cover three areas important to your success in an online course: technology, communication, and time management.
Learning with Sakai
URI’s web/online classroom is generally offered in Sakai- this is the web platform where you access course content, updates and classroom exchanges.
You will learn how to access online courses, and what types of assignments may be required.
Of course, all instructors have their own format and required activities. This will require flexibility, and it may be useful to spend time in each of your courses the first week and make sure you understand all the Sakai features for each class.
You don’t need to be a computer expert!
But, it is helpful to have some basic computer skills, the recommended technology and a “plan B” when taking an online class.
Word Processing Software
- Be familiar with different word processing files.
- If it is not listed in the syllabus you may want to check with your instructor for preferred file format.
- Mozilla Firefox is the preferred web-browser for Sakai. Make sure you keep are using the latest and most up-to-date version.
- Additional Software may be required in some courses and will be included in the syllabus on the first day of class.
- You’ll need regular access to a computer with an internet connection.
Have a “Plan B”
- Technology problems are not an excuse for late assignments or incomplete work.
- Make sure you have an alternative option if something happens to your primary computer or internet service (e.g., local public library, close friend/relative’s computer, public space with internet).
Still have questions? Check out our technology support page.
You’re not alone!
When taking an online class, you will still be able to engage in conversation and get to know your professor and classmates.
In fact, you are more likely to succeed in your course if you take the time to participate in discussions and ask questions on a regular basis. Here’s a helpful guide to etiquette in your online class.
Stay on track!
Online courses run on the same schedule as face to face courses and require the same time commitment.
Get started on the right path
- Start using your syllabus on the first day.
Clarify anything you don’t understand the first week – if you’re not sure what your instructor expects, ask!
- Check email/Sakai every day
- Keep an up-to-date calendar
Organize your weeks to ensure that you will meet deadlines for all discussions and assignments
Plan out your time!
While online classes do offer flexibility, it is very important to keep on track. Students have reported that they do better in an online course when they start with a plan and stick to it.
For more resources check out our time management page.
Next up: Is Online Learning Right for you?