Tips for Success
Here are some proven tips and strategies to help you be successful learning online, in a hybrid setting, or on campus.
Current students share their first-hand experiences staying connected to their peers and instructors.
Connect to your instructors and classmates
To your instructors
- Your class syllabus should say how your instructor prefers to communicate, but feel free to ask them for clarification and how quickly they plan to respond to student questions.
- Know what to expect with each of your courses. Learn about Ohio State's four different types of instruction modes, and reach out to your instructor with any questions.
- Instructors are encouraged to use CarmenCanvas and its built-in announcements function to keep you informed. Your instructors will contact you with information regarding scheduled tests and exams.
- Make sure your CarmenCanvas notifications are set to your preferences so you are notified about new announcements, assignments, grade postings, etc.
- If offered, participate in virtual office hours over CarmenZoom or Microsoft Teams.
- Do you need to find someone's full name, email address, or campus location? Bookmark the Find People site to make searching for your instructors, classmates, and staff members easy.
To your classmates
- Familiarize yourself with the tools available through Ohio State that will help you connect and collaborate digitally, especially while working on group projects.
- Use your tech tools like Microsoft Teams to text or video chat with your classmates. Teams is a newer, more informal way to keep you connected.
- Add a picture of yourself to your Zoom profile, so others can see your face even when your camera is off. This makes it easier for your classmates and instructors to identify who is on the Zoom call and who is talking.
- Schedule virtual study sessions as a way to both learn your course material and connect with your classmates.
- Take your student organization meetings to Zoom or hold a group chat to stay in touch. Show your Buckeye pride by downloading custom Ohio State Zoom backgrounds.
Advocate for yourself and others
Be your own best advocate
- Know your device and software. Familiarize yourself with Zoom controls: how to activate your webcam and microphone, mute and unmute yourself, use reactions, chat, share your screen, etc.
- Know how to speak up in a live Zoom session. Does your instructor prefer you to unmute yourself and speak, raise your virtual hand, or comment in the chat? Each of your instructors could have a different preference.
- “I wonder if you might be able to help me with a challenge I’m having…” Your instructor is likely also grappling with a lot of challenges and may not be aware of barriers to success you’re facing in their course. Don’t be afraid to speak up and communicate with your instructor about time zone challenges with live sessions, issues accessing materials internationally, limited access to technology, etc.
- Record the pronunciation of your name and select your preferred pronouns in NameCoach, so your instructors know how to address you.
- Change your name in Zoom to reflect how you would like to be addressed during live sessions. You can also include your pronouns with your name after entering a Zoom session (e.g. “Brutus Buckeye, (he/him/his)) - just click on "participants" from within a meeting, hover over your name, and click "rename" to add your pronouns.
- If you need learning accommodations, you can request help from Student Life Disability Services.
- Advocate for distraction-free spaces to learn online or when studying.
- The Student Advocacy Center helps students navigate the university structure and resolve any issues you may encounter. Learn more about the center's services.
Be an advocate for others
- Commit to supporting positive and inclusive interactions. The Office of Institutional Equity is committed to creating an environment - both in person and online - that is equitable, fair, and just.
- Learn more about the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the programs and resources it offers.
- Take advantage of some of Ohio State’s vast resources about how to be an advocate for others. One example is the Social Justice Engagement program offered through Student Life’s Multicultural Center.
Learn more about things you can do to advocate for yourself and your classmates - directly from your classmates.
Hear from your classmates about things you can do to support your wellness and success in and out of the classroom.
Build key skills for personal wellness and overall success
Center your wellness
- Proactively manage your wellness by accessing the Ohio State Wellness app on Apple or Android devices.
- Set a plan for balancing your use of technology.
- Find a space that is comfortable and allows you to focus. This can be your home base for coursework. If in Columbus, consider one of the campus drop-in spaces.
- Consider using the Do Not Disturb function on your devices or a lockdown browser on your computer when you are trying to manage distraction.
- Feeling like you aren’t capable? Confront Impostor Syndrome.
Build key skills for learning
- Try out all your tech tools and create bookmarks and custom shortcuts so you can access them quickly.
- Treat your Zoom classroom just like you would a physical classroom – with respect. Read a few quick Zoom etiquette tips. And as always, all aspects of the Code of Student Conduct are in effect.
- Connect with tech tutors via Microsoft Teams to help when you aren’t sure about how to use your technology or want to bounce around some of your creative ideas.