Six Essentials for Online Students

Posted: August 10, 2020 | Author: Heather Winkler | Read Time: 4 minutes

Essentials for online studentsAs more and more students find themselves taking online classes, it’s helpful for them to have the right tools. Having the necessary equipment and taking the time to prepare to take classes online, can help online students succeed.

1. A Dependable Computer Paired With Reliable Internet Access

As an online student your computer is your source of education. Having a computer with a quality processing system and correct software can impact the level of education received. Competent technology will load your videos faster, have a low likelihood of crashing, and can run multiple browser tabs without the fear of your computer shutting down. And purchasing a portable computer, like a laptop, can be a helpful tool that allows anywhere to be a classroom.

2. The Right Computer Accessories

Along with the right computer, tech additions can enhance the online student experience. First, headphones and a webcam are very important for online video lectures and group projects. To create a more personalized online classroom, headphones and a webcam make class participation more meaningful by letting students interact with classmates as they express their thoughts and opinions.

Students should also consider a wireless keyboard and mouse. For laptop users, wireless accessories can help to create an easier work environment, like not being so close to the screen.

3. Backup Storage for Your Work

One of the dangers of being an online student is losing work through uploading issues, computer crashes, etc. Be careful not to lose your work and have a place to back it up. Whether it’s a flashdrive, Google drive (automatic upload), upload information to iCloud, or another system. Make sure you have some sort of back-up system in place so your school work will always be there when you need it most.

4. Plan Out Your Schedule

Whether it’s a calendar hanging on your wall or one on your phone, make sure you have a schedule. Because online students can do classwork at any time, it can be a challenge to keep track of due dates and other school-related deadlines. With a calendar students can keep track of all courses. At Southern Utah University, students can use the calendar function in Canvas to show all due dates.

A push-notification may be the difference between an assignment that's on-time and one that is late. Make sure to include notifications for each calendar event and add reminders to study, sit down to begin a class, or even take a break. If this seems too complicated, there are simpler ways to do this. Something like a sticky note to remind you will be a life-safer.

5. Create a Space to Study

Create an atmosphere where you can feel comfortable to study. Life can be hectic, so create a physical place that helps you know when it's “school time.” This might include a specific chair, certain area of your home, or an article of clothing. If creating a place isn’t an option, consider doing some sort of relaxation ritual, eating something specific, or doing something that will let your brain know that you are starting your school work routine. Find what works for you.

6. The Classics for Any Student

Don’t underestimate the power of a good-old notebook and pencil. Writing notes can help students remember what they are learning. Since reading and life experience are connected to written words, writing notes will connect your classwork to the other knowledge you have. This will allow you to recall other experiences that could be useful correlations with your studies.

Lastly, looking at a screen for a long period of time to watch lectures or do homework can negatively affect your eyes. Both blue light glasses and studying by a window area with natural sunlight can help protect your eyes. It is a small investment for a lifetime of better eyes.


Overall prepare yourself to have a wonderful time as an online student. SUU really cares about you and your education, so feel free to reach out to your professors or advisors if you’re struggling in a class. 

Produced by SUU Online

Wherever you are in your educational journey SUU can help you reach your goals. SUU's online programs provide the flexibility you need and the affordability you want. Accelerate your career with the online degree that's right for you.

If you’re considering an online degree and want more information, contact SUU's Online Admissions Team at (435) 865-8665 or at

Tags: BGS SUU Online

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