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Keys to Success

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Keys to Success

Test your hardware and software

The two main tools for online learning are Canvas, OU's learning management system, and Zoom, a video conferencing tool. Test that you are able to login and download Zoom to your own device.

Access to Canvas is available at Canvas Student, the mobile applications, is available on iOS and Android.

Login to Zoom. Zoom is available as at as a web app, a desktop app for PC and Mac, and mobile application on iOS and Android.

Make sure you can sucessfully log into your Zoom and Canvas accounts prior to the start of class!

Tips for Zoom live sessions

  • Find a quiet space with limited distractions.
  • Wear heaphones or earbuds to avoid audio interference.
  • Make sure you are muted when you are not talking.
  • Utilize the raise your hand feature if you are wanting to ask a question live.
  • Utilize the chat feature for questions.
  • Join a meeting by phone if you have limited internet access or are experiencing technical difficulties.

Check for communication often

Instructors will be sending electronic messages to you via your OU email and Canvas more often. Make it part of your regular routine to check your inboxes multiple times throughout the day.

Have a routine

Having a set schedule and space can help you manage the stress of such a heavy work and study load. Setup an intentional physical space where you "go to class." Outline a routine for where and when you will join live sessions, work on course work, and study.

Be an active participant

Engagement leads to a better understanding. Comment on discussion boards, pose questions, and communicate often with your instructor. Since some activities don't take place in real-time, make an effort to check in often on spaces like discussion boards and email.

Take advantage of writing consulting online

The OU Writing Center provides remote consultation for students. For online email consultation submissions:

  • You can submit up to 3000 words
  • You can submit up to 3 times in one week
  • OU Writing Center will send a response via email within 5 business days

For online video chat consultations (available Monday - Thursday 10am - 3pm):

  • You can submit up to 1500 words
  • You can submit up to 2 times in one week
  • Each video chat consultation has a maximum appointment time of 1 hour
  • OU Writing Center will send a confirmation email by 3 pm on the day of submission to schedule the online meeting
  • Any video chat consultation requests submitted after 3 pm will receive a confirmation email the next business day to schedule the online meeting
  • You can only request a next-day consultation if you submit before 3 pm on the day of submission
  • Same-day consultations are not available

OU Writing Center Online Submission

Take advantage of the Math Center

View Math Center online tutoring schedule.

Allot enough time

Be realistic about how much time you need to devote to each of your classes. Allow ample time for all of your coursework. In a regular length semester, courses require at least 3 hours each week per credit hour. This means you should expect to spend at 9 - 20 hours per week per course.

Be an effective communicator

Communicating effectively is extremely important to doing well in your online course. Keep in mind that class communications are more formal than texting or conversing with your friends. When emailing your instructor or another student:

  • State the class and section in which you are enrolled.
  • Be sure to respectfully address your course instructor – check your syllabus for the way they refer to themselves.
  • Use appropriate language, spelling, and grammar (do not use texting short cuts).
  • Communicate in a respectful manner.

Abide by the Integrity Code

Academic integrity is extremely important for all students, including online learners. 

Academic Life Coaching

The OU Academic Life Coaching program is an innovative mentoring approach designed to provide you with individualized student support. As a program participant, you will be matched with a specially trained coaching mentor who will meet with you regularly via video chat. In those sessions, you and your coach will work together to manage stressors and establish goals that lead to greater confidence and academic success.

Below are a few themes that students are currently working through with their coaches. Many of these challenges are related specifically to the life changes associated with COVID-19:

  • Making the transition from a classroom to a virtual space.
  • Maintaining motivation in a more self-paced learning environment.
  • Adapting to sudden change.
  • Managing new expectations from family and housemates.
  • Sustaining healthy habits within a new routine.
  • Maintaining connections in the virtual space.

To learn more and meet the OU Academic Life Couches, click here:

To request an Academic Life Coach, please email and we will match you with a coach accordingly. 

We are all in this together and we are dedicated to ensuring your success! 

Get help

Technical Support

24/7 Technical Assistance Canvas Support

If you have questions or are experiencing trouble with this service, you can contact Canvas support directly by clicking on the Help icon in Canvas.

Canvas Help Guide

How do I get help with Canvas as a student?

Text and Video Guides

You can also learn more about Canvas functionality in the tips and videos below:

Complete list of Canvas text guides for Students 
Complete list of Canvas video guides for Students

Canvas Support Hotline: 1-844-629-6842

24/7 Technical Assistance Zoom Support

If you have questions or are experiencing trouble with this service, you can contact Zoom support directly by clicking on Help Center in Zoom app menu.

Support is provided through the following channels: