Tips For Online Enrollment

Thinking of Enrolling in an Online Course?  Consider these points for a successful experience in an online course.


If you are considering enrolling in an online course for the first time, please review and reflect on the following characteristics of a successful online student.  After reviewing this information, if you feel that you are not prepared yet to enroll in an online course, consider enrolling in a “hybrid” course that blends online activities with “face-to-face” classroom experiences.


Here are some characteristics of a successful online student:


Using Computer Technology:

  • You will need a reliable access to a computer, a tablet or a smart phone that can connect to the internet at least 3-4 times a week.
  • Your computer, tablet or smart phone is equipped with a speaker and a microphone for videoconferencing.
  • You should be comfortable in sending and receiving e-mails, uploading attachments and managing your files.
  • You should be comfortable installing software, downloading apps and changing the configuration of your computer.


Managing your time:

  • You have approximately 10-15 hours a week to devote to a 3-unit online class.
  • You might be expected to log-in to the course daily.
  • You are organized and know how to manage your time appropriately with respect to completing assignments. 
  • You often complete your assignments before the due dates.


Thinking about your learning and communication skills:

  • You can communicate effectively and professionally your ideas to your peers and your instructors through written e-mails and discussion forums. 
  • You are comfortable reading and comprehending text on a computer screen.
  • You ask instructors questions in a timely fashion when you need clarification regarding an assignment. 
  • You enjoy working in a group, but also can work independently.
    • o   There might be group projects and you will be working with peers whom you may not meet in person. 
    • You appreciate working with peers from around the world and are sensitive to their unique cultures.
    • You do not need “face-to-face” interaction with an instructor to be successful in a course.


Note:  SJSU’s Spartan Success Portal has the following online workshops for online learning:  1) 10 Tips for Success in Your Online Course, 2) Effectively Communicating Online, 3) Online Courses: Staying Motivated & Disciplined, and 4) Taking Tests Online: Strategies for Success.


Online Learning Self-Assessments and Checklists


  1. a.    CSU Stanislaus Online Learning  Readiness Checklist
  2. b.    University of North Carolina Online Learning Readiness Checklist
  3. c.    Bakersfield College Online Questionnaire

 Other notes:

  • Online courses offered at SJSU can be found at
  • SJSU’s academic integrity/student conduct policies do apply to online courses:


This handout was initially prepared by the SJSU’s Advising Council and by the Student Academic Success Services Directors.  Any comments should be sent to


December 2013 (updated and links checked)