Online Course Success Tips

Communicating with your Instructor:

  • Check your Redlands email regularly for messages from your instructor. Also, be aware there is a “messages” section on Blackboard your instructor may use to communicate information to you, and you should check those messages often. Your Blackboard messages may be found in the “tools” section of Blackboard.
  • If you have a technical difficulty with Blackboard you must let your instructor know as soon as possible. Do not wait until after a test date has passed, or homework is due. Your instructor will be more likely to be able to help you if you communicate issues as soon as they occur. For example, if you are taking a test and are kicked off the system, simply email your instructor and report the incident. Your instructor will make it possible for you to complete the exam.
  • If you have questions about the course material, or need clarification on homework assignments do not hesitate to email your instructor with your questions. Your instructor will be happy to answer your questions. Please understand that it may take up to 24 hours for your instructor to respond to your request. Be patient. They will help you as soon as they can.
  • Always be professional and respectful when emailing your instructor. Be aware of the type of language you use in an email. Your instructor is much more likely to assist you with your issue if you have been professional and respectful. Your instructor should be respectful to you in return.

Completing Course Tasks:

  • Make notes early in the semester of when exams and homework are due. This will help prevent you from missing an important exam or assignment later in the semester. If you happen to have a scheduled conflict with an exam or homework you should email your instructor immediately to discuss the possibility of making an alternate plan for completing those tasks.
  • You should make a plan to complete one chapter of reading every week. This will allow you to take your time with the material and learn it in a timely manner, instead of attempting to do several chapters in one week. Students who read a chapter a week tend to be more successful than those who do not. 
  • Do not rely solely on the power point slides or videos that are provided. Those are meant to accompany the material in your book. Just reading the slides or only watching the videos may mean that you miss important information from the textbook.
  • When preparing to take an exam please give yourself plenty to extra time in case you encounter a technical difficulty. For example, if the test is due at midnight on Friday, do not wait until 11pm to take the test unless that is your only option.
  • Never hesitate to ask questions of your instructor if you are confused about how to complete a homework assignment. Your instructor is there to help and will be happy to clear up any confusion. However, make sure you have read all instructions thoroughly prior to emailing your instructor for help. You may find the answer to your questions if you re-read instructions or emails regarding assignments!

Technical Difficulties:

  • On occasion, you may experience technical difficulties when taking exams. Students sometimes encounter problems such as: losing power, failure to save a test correctly, or get kicked out of an exam. If this happens, do not panic. Simply email your instructor immediately and let them know you have encountered a problem. They should be able to assist you so you may complete the exam. You will never be penalized for a technical difficulty.
  • Be aware that the instructor can tell when you have been kicked out of a test or a quiz by Blackboard. Saying you have been kicked out of a test when you have not just to get more time with an exam is academically dishonest and may result in being assigned a failing grade for the course. Additionally, the instructor can see if you have attempted to upload a homework assignment. Therefore, if you forget to do an assignment and attempt to turn it in late, your professor can see this is late and you will receive a score of zero.