Learning Support

Succeed in Online Classes

Read on to learn what is required to make the grade and resources to help you do it.

Get the Technology You Need

See our Technology Resources page and learn how to check out a computer or Chromebook, connect to classes through Zoom, explore our online learning host D2L Brightspace, and more.

Understand Online Learning

Online classes:

  • May require more study time and preparation than a classroom course.
  • Are not the same as an independent study. They have to a regular schedule with weekly assignments and deadlines.
  • Require good time management, organization and self-discipline.
  • Often require more reading than a classroom course. You must read everything the instructor posts to the course.
  • Often have weekly or daily online discussions for posting questions and answers.
  • Are typically more flexible than in-person courses, allowing you to log on and access course content anytime, day or night.
  • Require regular access to a computer, internet, and good typing skills. We have support to help you with this.
  • Require you to take initiative, advocate for yourself, and ask questions.

Prepare for Online Classes

Step 1: Learn Important Online Strategies

Successful online students from Inver Hills explain the skills and strategies necessary to do well in an online course. This is an excellent checklist to help you understand what is required.

Step 2: Purchase Your Textbooks

At the online Inver Hills Community College bookstore, you can search for your course materials, purchase your textbooks, pay for them, and have them mailed to your home address.

Step 3: Run a Computer System Check

Verify that your computer meets the technology requirements for taking online courses. Contact Information Technology Services for help with any technology related to online learning, and to access user guides for technology you will be using for online courses – including D2L Brighspace and Zoom

Step 4: Log Into Your Desire2Learn (D2L) Account

Most online courses use D2L, an online classroom. You should log into D2L using your StarID before the semester starts so you can be certain your access is working. You might be able to log in sooner but you should be able to log into D2L 12 hours after you register for a class within the month before the start of the term. The classes you are registered for should appear in the My Courses list, but you will not be able to go into a class site until the course start date (some instructors open their class sites to students before the start of the course start date).

Step 5: Verify You Will Receive Email from D2L

After you have access to a class site in D2L use the Classlist tool to verify the email address in D2L is correct. Your college-issued email, which ends in .EDU, is the address D2L will send messages to from instructors and classmates within D2L. Learn more about activating and using your .EDU email.

Determine your Online Readiness

Decide if taking an online or blended/hybrid course is right for your learning style. Be certain to speak with a counselor or advisor if you have questions about how to be successful in an online class.

Want to sample our online learning environment?

Contact our Center for Teaching and Learning staff to gain access to the Brightspace Orientation for Students course.