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5 tips to help you finish your courses successfully

March 19, 2020 — 

During this uncertain time, you may be wondering how you can manage to finish your courses. You’ll have to learn quickly how to be a good online student while expectations may be unclear and the format of your courses are changing.

Here are some tips to help you minimize the stress and complete your term successfully:

  1. Structure your time: You might feel like you all of a sudden have a lot of free time, but remember you’re still enrolled in your classes. Try to set goals for yourself for each day, prioritize your time, and plan a rough schedule for what you’re going to do each day. Be sure to work in time for eating, staying in touch with friends and family, and getting exercise, as well as doing schoolwork. Click here for some self-care tips. 
  2. Check your tech: Be sure that you have access to all the technology that you need to do your course work. This includes exploring your courses in UM Learn (if you can’t access your courses, contact IST), checking your software (such as Adobe Acrobat), logging into your UManitoba email, and making sure you have internet. If you are at home and don’t have access to a computer or internet, contact your instructor as soon as possible.
  3. Communicate with your instructor: Your instructor is adapting their course as quickly as possible to meet the need to finish the term online. This means that there may be a lack of clarity in assignment guidelines or assessments, technical errors, or gaps in content. If you have questions, ask your instructor directly – don’t rely on your classmates.
  4. Get social, virtually: A number of online tools are available to help you gather virtually, in order to complete assignments and communicate with your classmates. Some of these tools include Zoom and Google Hangouts, both of which are free. In a group assignment, make sure that you have set clear expectations for each group member’s role, your project timeline, and the frequency and manner of communication. (Note that your instructor’s directives regarding individual work still stand in an online environment, unless otherwise noted. Violating your instructor’s expectations by working with others on an individual assignment can lead to an allegation of inappropriate collaboration.)
  5. Make use of campus resources to assist you in your work: Even though you won’t be on campus, we are still here to support you in finishing your term successfully. Many student support offices are offering phone, email, and/or video appointments, including: academic advisors, Academic Learning Centre, Libraries and Student Accessibility Services.


Although an online environment can feel informal as compared to in-person instruction, you are still expected to abide by the University’s academic integrity expectations, outlined in the academic calendar and Student Discipline Bylaw. Visit the Academic Integrity website for more information on maintaining academic integrity and avoiding academic misconduct.

Read the full guide to being a successful online learner here.

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