Good Online Management Skills

Time Management

  • Study all course content the instructor has available for you. They will test you on both the textbook and online content.
  • ALL hybrid courses require on-campus class meetings. Check the printed or online schedule for required class meetings.
  • Allocate at least the same amount of time each week for an online course as you would for a campus course. The time needed will be approximately 3-4 hours per credit per week for a 15-week course, meaning 9-12 hours per week for a 3-credit course. Expect to spend 18 hours per week for a 3-credit, 10-week course.
  • Make contacts among your fellow students, forming study groups if possible or preferable.
  • Read your lesson the first day it is available. You may want to print it out or download the pages. That way if there is a problem with your connection, you can still work on it offline. If you have any questions, contact your instructor immediately.
  • Many online courses require that work be completed every week. It is necessary to review the course syllabus, calendar and/or pacing guide for these dates.

Asking questions

  • Read the course introduction/syllabus for your online class carefully to find out how you should ask questions. Some instructors will ask you to post all questions to a class discussion forum while others will ask you to email them directly to the instructor.
  • In a traditional class, everyone gets the benefit of hearing the question and answer. Therefore, the instructor may require you to post all questions to the class discussion board so that the entire class can view all questions and answers.
  • Some questions may already be answered by the instructor in his/her F.A.Q. section.
  • Identify how or when you can contact your instructor for office hour appointments.
  • Log on to your online classroom several times a week so that you can take part in online discussions and read all messages in a timely manner.

Discussions and Email

  • Keep a copy of all correspondence you send to your instructor. You may want to "cc" yourself. That way you will know that the mail is being delivered.
  • Netiquette in email and discussion postings:
    • Choose your words carefully. It is easy to sound brusque or even nasty when all the other person sees is a typed message. Humor is more difficult to convey in a written message.
    • Proofread your email messages and discussion postings before sending or posting them. The more accurate your messages, the more likely they'll be understood.
    • Do not use "text-speak," the abbreviations common to online social chatrooms and text messaging, such as BTW = "by the way." Your ANGEL class site is an academic environment. Please communicate accordingly.
    • A message written with all capital letters is viewed as shouting. Most people will find this offensive. It is also more difficult to read.

Typical Features/Tools in an Online Course

  • Messaging
    • Email, chat, and class discussion forums are the primary forms of communication between the instructor and students as well as among students.
  • Transferring files
    • You may be asked to submit assignments in ANGEL by uploading these files in an online drop box. Read the instructions carefully on those pages.
    • You may be asked to send files in ANGEL by attaching these files to an email to the instructor.
    • You may be asked to use the Save-as command (under "File" in any text editor) to save a document in Rich Text Format (.rtf).
    • The instructor may have you download or upload files.
  • Quizzes and Tests
    • Tests may be take-home tests that could be sent to you through an email message.
    • More commonly, quizzes are provided online directly in ANGEL. Please refer to the information below (under Technology Preparation) about possible browser-related problems and the solutions provided.
    • Many instructors will require proctored exams. Your photo I.D. is required to verify the identity of the person taking the exam. This is especially likely for mid-terms and final exams. Contact your instructor immediately if you live outside the Lehigh Valley and cannot take tests on the Main Campus in Schnecksville.

Technology Preparation

  • Students are responsible for their own computers. In the event that your computer breaks down during the semester, have an alternate plan. For example, you might use a computer in an open lab on campus, use a friend or relative's computer, or go to the public library.
    • System Check: On the ANGEL homepage there is a system check to determine if your computer is ready to work with ANGEL. Ensure that you have a green checkmark next to each item on the list.
    • Download updated Web browsers and plug-ins as needed.
  • Taking tests, using Chat, and many other tools are Java-based in ANGEL.
    • First, check your browser's "Preferences," "Options," or "Internet Tools." Make certain that Java and Java script are enabled.
    • Java-based features can be blocked by high screening settings on personal/work firewalls and pop-up blocking software. If you cannot access the features above, it is likely that these settings are in place and need to be adjusted or disabled.
  • Many features in ANGEL are available through pop-up windows. You must either set your pop-up blocker to allow "" or turn off pop-up blockers.