Strategies for Online Success

Is online learning right for you?Strategies for Online Success

Mercer online classes are small, taught by the same dedicated faculty who teach on campus, and follow the same course schedules and requirements as on-campus courses. Online students are able to contact and meet with instructors as needed and are encouraged to contact their course instructors with any questions concerning course requirements. 

Online classes work well for students who:

  • Are comfortable with computers, email, word processing and presentation software, uploading/downloading files, and online communications such as discussion boards
  • Are effective readers
  • Are comfortable expressing themselves in writing
  • Need flexibility in course scheduling
  • Enjoy working independently
  • Are self motivated
  • Have strong time management skills
  • Are comfortable following written directions and contacting instructors when they have questions or need assistance

What kinds of classes are offered online?

A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses are offered online every semester at Mercer. When registering for classes, you will see that online sections are listed with a "W" in the course ID (for example, PSYC321.1W1) and hybrid classes are listed with a "Y" (for example, PSYC321.1Y1). 

Online classes are taught 100% online and do not require on campus class meetings, however some online classes will require regularly scheduled synchronous (live) virtual class meetings or proctored final exams. Hybrid courses meet on campus and online and offer a blend of the two environments.

What can I expect from a Mercer online course?

A structured schedule with required virtual attendance

Mercer online classes begin and end on the same semester dates as campus-based classes.  You should login to your course on the first day of class and at least three times a week during the semester.  The classes are not self -paced; you must follow a syllabus and course schedule with assigned due dates for all online meetings, assignments and assessments.

Small class sizes and dedicated Mercer faculty members

You can count on the same personal attention and supportive instructors that you find in any Mercer class. You will be able to contact your online instructor(s) via email, phone, and office hours. Each Mercer Online course is designed and built by a faculty member who is trained to provide an enriched digital learning environment.

The same challenging course work you find on campus

All of Mercer's online courses are designed with the same standards of excellence and academic rigor as the classes that meet on campus. Online classes are not easier or less time consuming than campus classes.  You must think, read and write critically and analytically, work hard, and devote as much time to an online class as you would to any other class at Mercer University.

What are the student requirements for distance learning at Mercer?

Attendance and Participation

Students must login to access online courses on the first day of the semester and actively participate during the entire semester. It's expected that you login to your online course and communicate with your professor regularly.

Adhere to a Course Syllabus

The syllabus is your road map in an online course. Read it carefully on the first day of class, and review it often for specific requirements of an individual class.

Engagement with Course Materials and Resources

You should read all handouts, notes, articles, assignments, and materials posted by your instructor.  Some courses will also include video files and audio podcasts that you should view.

Use of Mercer Live Student Email

Mercer students are required to use their student email accounts. You should check your Mercer email every day, as you will receive important announcements and messages from your online course instructor and classmates. Access your MercerLive student email here.

Assignments, Deadlines, and Time Management

Online courses require rigorous reading and writing. Students are expected to complete all assigned readings, produce high-quality work, proofread before submission, and meet course deadlines.

More Strategies for Success

The following strategies will help you start strong and successfully complete your online course:

  • Be sure to login to your online class on the first day of the semester. Contact the IT Help Desk if you do not have access to your course.
  • Read the syllabus carefully, and make special note of the course requirements and assignment deadlines.
  • Download the syllabus so you can access it offline. Review the syllabus every week.In some cases, additional information may be added to the syllabus during the term so it is good to check for updated information and resources regularly.
  • Purchase textbook(s) and materials immediately. You will need your textbook(s) and materials during the first week of class.
  • Set aside a block of time to navigate through each file and folder posted in the course. Click all the links so you can become familiar with the course design.
  • Schedule time to complete readings and work on assignments every day.
  • Make time management a top priority.
  • Use the discussion forums and course email to connect with your classmates.
  • Add all course and semester deadlines (such as assignment due dates and withdrawal deadlines) to your calendar.
  • Take notes as you read.
  • Spell check and proofread all work, including discussion board posts, before submitting.
  • Save copies of all your course work, notes, downloaded files, and assignments.
  • Contact your instructor with questions, concerns, or for any clarification that you need. Instructors are available via phone, email, or virtual office hours.
  • Use the resources that are available to you, such as the online library resources and online writing lab.