How to Succeed as an ODUGlobal Student

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Online classes take self-discipline and time management, but with the right tools you can be successful. Our courses are designed with the online learner in mind, but the programs are still rigorous. You'll learn the same material as on-campus students, and be taught by the same ODU faculty. Use the resources below to help you make the most of your classes. 

Student on laptop sitting as a table

First of all, congratulations! We're so happy you're here. Now that you're an ODU student, there are some things you'll need to get started.

Review student policies, such as the honor code, attendance policies, and inclement weather guidelines.

If you have any accessibility needs, please contact the Office of Educational Accessibility to request accommodations.

getting ready for class

Technical Planning

Make sure your computer is ready for online classes ahead of time. About a week before the semester starts, log into ODU's learning management system with your MIDAS ID and password to make sure you can access it. Your professor may upload your class before the semester starts, so you can explore the class space as well.

Set Up Your Study Space

Create a comfortable and quiet space where you can study regularly. Keep distractions and noise to a minimum. Put all your supplies--textbooks, notepaper, pens, etc.--in one place that's easy to access. If you don't have a good place to study at home, consider studying at a nearby library or in a quiet place at work.

Plan on spending 8-10 hours per week for each online class you're taking.

Your professor may send out the syllabus or list of course materials before the semester begins. Be sure to order your textbooks as soon as possible so you're ready to begin on the first day of class.

Locate Online ODU Resources

We have a lot of online tools and resources to help you succeed in your studies, from tutoring to writing help and library services.

Save Important Contact Information

Keep a copy of important contact numbers and email addresses in a place where you can access them even if you lose Internet access. You should include:

  • Your academic advisor
  • ODU ITS Help Desk:, 877-348-6503 (toll-free)
  • Your professor (check the syllabus)

Check your syllabus for details about the class schedule, assignments and exams, textbooks, grading criteria, and contact details for your professor. If you're not sure about something, contact your professor right away.

hand and laptop

Online Class Behavior

We want all students to have an opportunity to listen, learn, and participate in ODUGlobal classes. To make this happen, we ask our students to follow these guidelines for behavior in live classes.

Tips for Emailing Your Professor

If you have technical difficulty, a family emergency or any other issues that may interfere with your ability to attend class or meet assignment deadlines, contact your professor as soon as possible.

  • Always use your ODU email account.
  • Include the course ID in your email subject line, like "ACCT 301 assignment question".
  • Use complete sentences (no text-speak), and explain what your question is. Always be courteous, even when you disagree.
  • Sign your name at the end.

Use Your Time Well

Develop a comprehensive schedule. Be sure to include due dates for assignments and exams, and block time to complete classwork or study before exams. Always submit assignments early in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Study and Homework Tips

  • It helps to have a regular study time each day. If you study for long periods, take a break each hour.
  • Don't procrastinate, stick to your schedule. 
  • Create a folder on your computer and name it with your course ID, like ACCT 301. Save all your assignments in that folder. If your professor does not have a specific file naming convention for assignments, use file names that will be clear to you. If you have to email a file to your professor, include your course ID and last name in the file name. Example: smith_ACCT301_assignment2.doc
  • If you have trouble with an assignment, contact your instructor as soon as possible. 

Exams & Proctors

Your instructor will tell you what kind of exams you will have in each course, or include those details in the syllabus. If you have any questions about the exam, be sure to ask your professor. More details about online exams can be found here.

Course Evaluations (end of semester)

Near the end of the semester, you should receive an email asking you to complete a course evaluation. Please complete it by the deadline, your feedback is invaluable to the instructor and course designers.

Old Dominion University is a public doctoral research institution and a national leader in distance learning with its main campus in Norfolk, VA. ODU has been a pioneer in technology-delivered learning since the mid-1980's.