This story on designing a great online class, originally published on April 9, was eCN’s No. 8 most popular story of 2020. Check back each day for the next story in our countdown.

So, all your classes just went online, and your students are turning to you for technical as well as emotional support. Your institution may be scrambling to get each online class up and running, but you don’t have to scramble.

You can help the transition go more smoothly with some sage advice to give your students on how they can succeed in the digital classroom. Here are 10 online class tips to share with students:

1. Don’t be a stranger. Ask your students to log into their courses every day. Yes, every day. You may be sending out announcements, posting assignments, and responding to discussion forums every day. Remind students that it’s not enough to check in three times a week, as they normally would. Encourage them to be vigilant with their school-issued email accounts. If not, they will surely miss a deadline or some positive feedback they might have received on one of their brilliant posts to the discussion board!

Related content: 5 ways to focus on student success in a pandemic

2. Open sesame. Seems basic, but caution students to remember their passwords to Blackboard, Canvas, or any other learning management system (LMS) that your school may use. Maybe your institution has 24/7 tech support or a “forgotten password” function. If so, you are lucky. But, if not, warn students that they don’t want to try to log in to the LMS at 11 p.m. only to find out that they can’t get into the system until the help desk opens at 9 a.m. the next day.

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About the Author:

J.A. Miller, Ph.D., has 20+ years of experience teaching in Higher Education in both the physical and online classrooms. She has taught at SUNY Buffalo, NYUonline, Long Island University, and Excelsior College. She is currently Director of Learning Design at, an online learning design company. She brings together theory and practice in her approach to creating outstanding, transformational learning experiences for online students. Her most recent publication, “8 Steps to a Smoother Transition to Online Teaching,” was published in Faculty Focus on March 20th, 2020.