March 02, 2021

New to online learning? Does it feel a bit overwhelming at times? Rest assured, you’re not alone in thinking this. In fact, many students look at their online classes and wonder, how am I going to get all of this done during the semester?

Granted, online learning feels like it will take much longer than face-to-face classes at the outset. Just looking through all of your D2L courses, you can see all of the readings, assignments, and discussion prompts at once that you’ll need to do. On top of all that, you have to learn how to find things on the course site and navigate around using D2L. It’s enough to make even the experienced learner apprehensive!

Nevertheless, if you understand how online classes work and how to get the support you need, you’ll be able to succeed in your online courses! Here are a few things to keep in mind when taking online classes:

  • Try not to think about all of the assignments you will have to do all at once when you enter your online course sites. Instead, focus only on the first week activities and leave the other materials for each respective week.
  • At the same time, you’ll really want to find a way to manage your time. In a face-to-face class, your instructor tells you what you need to do. Online courses require a little more time management on your part. So it’s important to have some kind of calendar, to-do list, or notification prompt to help you remember when the due dates are.
  • If you still have questions about how to navigate D2L, you can ask your instructor where to find parts of the course; you can also make an appointment with Dr. Caroline Toscano, an Instructional Designer at Century College. 
  • Devote study time to your online courses. To be successful, you’ll need to set aside time to read the course materials and respond to discussion prompts, as well as complete all assignments. It is best if you carve out a special time each day. This will prevent you from procrastinating as well. While studying, try not to have distractions like social media around you.
  • When you have questions about the course, make sure you give the instructor enough time to respond. Most instructors will respond within 24-48 hours. Asking a classmate about the course is another way to have your questions answered.
  • If you need tutorial help, you can ask the instructor is there is a tutor linked to the course; you can also make use of in D2L, which is listed in the Resources navigation bar at the top of the course page.
  • Finally, there is the Student Online Learning Page at Century. This page has a list of online learning webinars, support services, tips for succeeding in online classes, and frequently asked questions. 

In short, online learning may seem daunting at first. Like anything new, it takes some adjustment. With the right time management and support, you’ll find it easier to succeed in your online classes!

Do you have questions about online learning? Please write to Dr. Caroline Toscano at!