Tips for Being a Successful Online Student

The online environment can be exciting and also frustrating.

  • The summer semester moves twice as fast as during the school year, as you are covering the same amount of content.
  • You must have internet access to be successful in an online course.
  • Don’t sign up late for the class.  You want to have a chance to familiarize yourself with the course management system, look over the syllabus, buy books and work out any technical issues.
  • Get organized.  It’s hard to manage time in your schedule for a class when you don’t have an assigned time to attend. Online class participants sometimes have a tendency to wait until the last minute and then try to complete all the assignments.  This is not a successful strategy.
  • Learn the structure of the class. Is it self-paced, or does it have timed modules?  Will modules remain open for the entire semester or just for one week?  This will help you set up your schedule for completing the work.  Read the syllabus.
  • The “rules” regarding cheating, drop dates, etc. are the same in an online class as they are in a face-to-face class.  The delivery method is just different.
  • Remember your instructor is not technical support; their area of expertise is course content. Technical questions must be directed to the MSU Help Desk.

Tech support

  • Toll Free: 1-800-500-1554 (North America and Hawaii)
  • Local: 517-355-2345

Online courses taught by HDFS are located in the Desire2Learn course management system at:  

Great Plains IDEA Course Access Sites for Students

The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance is a group of accredited universities offering degrees online.  When MSU students are taking a class through another institution, these are the content management system login areas:

CFLE Online Course Listing: For students who want to transfer HDFS classes back to MSU.  Please consult with an HDFS advisor if interested.