Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
NAU students looking at a computer screen

Online learning best practices

Best Practices for Online Learning

  1. Familiarize yourself with the week-by-week and semester-long rhythms of your courses. Then build your personal study schedule around these deadlines.
  1. Designate dedicated time and space in your weekly schedule to complete your coursework. While the flexibility of online learning is one of its assets, it can also be a challenge when you don’t have a set time to get classwork done.
  1. Establish a daily schedule of check-ins with your online courses, so you stay aware of any changes to assignments or deadlines, and set up personal calendar notifications for deadlines well in advance of the day/time the work is due.
  1. Establish a back-up plan for when things go wrong–for example, when the internet is out, when the regular babysitter can’t make it, or a family member is ill. Having a plan for alternative ways to complete coursework when your regular schedule or learning conditions are disrupted can help you minimize the negative impact such disruptions might have on your progress.
  1. Develop and maintain connections with instructors, classmates, and institutional resources that support your success. For example, take advantage of office hours, group work connections, and university-sponsored tutoring and mentoring services.
  1. Turn off distractions during the time you have dedicated to coursework. If you’re not convinced of the negative learning outcomes associated with multitasking, complete the self-paced tutorial, Attention Matters, which will help you better understand how multitasking is detrimental to your learning.

Expectations for Online Learners

  1. Complete the self-paced orientation Learning Online @NAU or Learning Online @NAU for Graduate students. Successful completion of this course will help you.
  1. Complete the self-paced course, Academic Integrity @NAU. All students are automatically enrolled in this Bb Learn course.
  1. Ensure that the computer and other devices (and the software installed on those computers and devices) that you plan to use to complete your coursework meet NAU’s minimum technology requirements.
  1. Set aside at least an hour per course on the first day of the semester to log into your online courses and complete start-of-session tasks, including familiarizing yourself with the course syllabus and course policies.
  1. Identify, before the first day of class, any periods during which you might be away from a computer for more than 2-3 days at a time. Then, create a plan to make sure you can keep up with the course schedule by either working ahead or by following the course policies set by the instructor for cases such as these.
  1. Familiarize yourself with the Arizona Board of Regent’s credit hour policy, and plan your schedule accordingly, bearing in mind that the expected time investment for a 3-credit course of any length is approximately 135 hours.