In general, successful online learners are...

  • Good independent learners
  • Disciplined about finishing class work
  • Comfortable with technology
  • Proficient readers with good comprehension
  • Comfortable communicating online with professors and peers

Does this describe you? Take our online quiz to find out!

Are your computer skills ready? Answer this survey to measure your skill level.

For newly admitted students

Follow our new enrollment checklist to set up your University accounts and wrap up any initial tasks, such as checking your transfer transcript. 

An academic advisor will contact you after admission to help you plan your courses and get registered for class. Your advisor is there to help you succeed, so ask them about anything that's not clear. They're experts in your degree programs, and they can connect you with other University resources.


Getting Ready for Class

Technical planning

Make sure your computer is ready for online classes. Click here for technical details and support for ODU Online courses. Test your audio and video using the tools provided by technical support. 

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. 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. Check them out here.

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: itshelp@odu.edu, 877-348-6503 (toll-free)
  • Your professor (check the syllabus)

During the Semester

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.

Online Class Behavior

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

Tips for emailing your professor

In online courses, it's more important than ever to stay in contact with your professor. If you have technical difficulty, a family emergency, or any other issues that interfere with your ability to attend class or meet assignment deadlines, contact your professor as soon as possible to let the know.

  • Always use your ODU email account to contact your professor (or any other ODU office). 
  • Include the course ID in your email subject line, like "ACCT 301 assignment question".
  • Your professor is a real person: talk to them with respect. 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

Make a schedule on a calendar or planner that includes due dates for assignments and exams. Schedule specific times to complete classwork or study before exams. Don't wait to the last minute to submit your assignments! Send them in early to avoid lateness due to a technical difficulty.

Study and homework tips

  • It helps to have a regular study time each day. Try to study in the same place, too. If you study for long periods, take a break each hour.
  • Don't procrastinate! Stick to your schedule. If you run into any trouble, contact your instructor as soon as possible. 
  • 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

Your instructor should 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, ask them early! More details about the different types of online exams can be found here.

Course evaluations

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!