MPH Program

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Online Learning Strategies for Success

Whether you are new to the online learning world or a seasoned pro, some evidence-based strategies for success in the MPH online program are provided. References and links are included throughout the document for further learning.


• Make sure that you have the right technology (e.g., hardware, software, internet connectivity) to complete assignments.

Practice navigating (the term for getting around) in the online course environment. Spend some time just navigating your way through the class files and folders to make sure that you can access desired course menus and materials (5).

Download or print out pages for reference and review away from the computer (5).

Time Management

• An online class requires an average of 6-10 hours per week, and more during the summer.

Determine the best time for you to study and complete assignments, and schedule times in which to read, complete assignments, and post dialogue to other classmates.

• Be sure to find a private place to study which is free from distractions (1, 3, 4).


Interaction and discussion with classmates and instructors still occurs in online learning through reading and responding to classmates’ introductions, facilitated course discussions, visiting the e-portfolios of classmates, and/or engaging in ongoing dialogue about issues. Just as in face-to-face learning, we expect that you will learn from and provide insights to your peers.

Start by posting your own introduction—as the first step in building your online learning community.

Participate. Whether you are working alone, or in a group, contribute your ideas, perspectives and comments (2).

Log on to your course each day to, at least, check discussions and course updates/ announcements.

Be polite and respectful. Remember that you are dealing with real people online. Being polite and respectful is obligatory for a productive and supportive online environment (2). For a list of online etiquette rules, go to

Trouble Shooting and Other Tips

Ask for help early. Remember that your instructor wants you to succeed.

Be patient. As much as your instructor will try to be prompt in answering questions, please do not expect instantaneous responses to your queries. Learn how to set break points in your study so that you can return exactly to that point when your question is answered. Be patient with yourself as well—give the material a chance to soak in (5).

• If you have problems accessing your courses in ANGEL, contact Further questions may be directed to Brandan Clark at 414-955-4510.


Additional Reading/ Resources on Strategies for Effective and Efficient Online Learning:

1. Arkansas State University. Study tips for online learning. Retrieved 6.11.12

2. Illinois Online Network. Tips for online success. Retrieved 8.19.08

3. Purdue University. (2008). Tips to enhance your online learning experience. Retrieved 8.19.08

4. Roper, A. (2007). How students develop online learning skills. EDUCASE Quarterly. 30. Retrieved 8.19.08

5. Texas A & M University. Tips for taking online courses. Retrieved 8.19.08
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 02/27/2014