Tips for Online Success - University of Houston
Skip to main content



Learning online doesn't mean you are on your own. Current UH students have a wealth of resources available to be successful in their studies.

Use the tabs below to find additional tips and institutional resources specifically for our online students. If you can’t find what you are looking for or need additional assistance, call us during normal business hours at 713-743-3327 or via email at

Regardless of your course mode, establishing good study habits early in the semester is important to your success in each course.

Establish a specific time for studying.

Inform your friends and family about your scheduled study time so they won't disrupt you.

Focus on your work for an hour. It is more effective than studying for several hours with interruptions.

Concentrate on the goals or objectives of the lesson as you study. The objectives provide a guide to what is coming up in the lesson and what you should focus on. They correspond to the main points in the lesson and are often covered in the assignments or on the exams.

Log-in multiple times per week to keep up with course announcements and assignments.

Know the course deadlines. Many courses have deadlines very early in the semester.

Budget your time weekly and monthly so that you do not fall behind on readings or assignments.

"Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow." - Anonymous

Determining where you will study before the start of each semester is another important step to your success in each course. Studying in a familiar place can help you make better progress as you are more comfortable and less distracted. It’s also recommended you find a space that has adequate internet access for your online courses.

Being prepared to communicate with your instructor and University staff in a timely manner is another important step to your success in each course.

Ask for help when you need it. If you aren’t sure what help you need, simply state this to the instructor or staff member so we can determine how to best help you.

Actively engage in course communication. If you have a question or comment, email or post a message within your course to your instructor and/or classmates.

Read email communication for each course and from the University on a frequent basis.

Locate the email address of an individual or department on campus through the Campus Directory

Using available tutoring resources is another important step to your success in each course. Whether you’re struggling with a topic or just need an extra push, there are many benefits to using on-campus tutoring resources.

Learning Advancements for Undergraduate Cougars of Houston (LAUNCH) offers many services, including, but not limited to, tutoring for selected math courses, learning style strategies, and counseling. Tutoring at LAUNCH is available seven days a week. Find out more at LAUNCH.

Center for Academic Support and Assessment (CASA) Tutoring Center provides tutoring services to currently enrolled undergraduate math students. One on one or group tutoring is available. Find out more at Tutoring Center.

Scholar Enrichment Program initiatives make tutoring available to UH students currently enrolled in select math and science courses, regardless of the student's major. Find out more at Tutoring.

Ready to succeed in your online courses? Below are some tips from LAUNCH’s Dr. Laura Heidel to help you prepare to be successful in your academic studies.

Take notes on the asynchronous or synchronous lectures like you normally would in class. Consider structuring your notes by using the Cornell method (divide the page vertically and have a column for questions or key words). Review your notes regularly and integrate them with the course textbook material. Use self-testing to quiz yourself.

Read the textbook according to the course schedule. Take notes - mark on, summarize, or make flashcards - from the readings and then review your notes periodically.

Don’t avoid contact with professors. Students avoid talking to professors for a variety of reasons, including: 1) Feeling “out of the loop” for missing several classes; 2) Fear of asking a dumb question; 3) Fear of confrontation; 4) Shyness; and, 5) Tendency to avoid interactions with those in authority.

Get over these fears by remembering the professor is a person too, with strengths and weaknesses. They were once a student just like you! Send an introductory email to your professor for starters and build from there.

Appropriate online communication. Communicating online or via email is different than having a one-on-one conversation in a face-to-face class. How your email looks matters since an email is like a professional letter. Your emails in college can give you practice for professional emails in your career as well. Make sure you use your UH email account to avoid junk folder issues.

Additional tips: 1) Include subject lines in your email messages; 2) Avoid sarcasm, which is hard to interpret online; 3) Acknowledge and return messages promptly; and, 4) Use appropriate intensifiers to help convey meaning (using asterisks is better than using all caps).

Taking an online exam. It’s important to adequately prepare for open note/book and timed tests. Take advantage of access to online practice questions to gain an understanding of question type and format. If available, take a practice test before the actual exam.

Additional tips: 1) Practice answering questions paced to the time limit of the exam; 2) Form an online study group with other students; 3) Have a backup computer to use in case you have problems with your main computer; and, 4) Be familiar with the exam submission portal before the exam date.