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Student Strategies for Success

By: Amy Michalowski

Interactions between students and student-teacher are critical to deeper learning. At VHS Learning, our classes have frequent online discussions and students often work in groups, so it is important that students stay on track. Here are some tips for VHS Learning students to have a successful experience.

1. Pace Yourself

Former students have shared the most important lesson they learned from taking an online class and almost every student gave the same advice: Do not leave all your work until the last day of the week! Often what might look like a quick assignment takes a bit of time. If you leave assignments until the last day of the week, you will not have time to pass in high quality work. Help yourself by planning and setting goals for due dates throughout the week.

2. Attend Class Regularly

Your classes are somewhat flexible; you can do your coursework throughout the day, in the evening, or even on weekends. But with flexibility comes responsibility. Though the minimum login requirement is 3 times per week, students who are successful login at least 4-5 times per week. Honors and Advanced Placement students should login 5 times per week to maximize success.

3. Plan Ahead

There are times when life is hectic. If you have a valid reason why you might not meet course deadlines, communicate with your teacher and academic liaison ahead of time. Often your teacher will be accommodating, but it is difficult after you have been absent.

Suggested Plan: How you might approach the week

  • Check the class News area for reminders or important updates from your teacher.
  • If it is your first class visit of the week, review the Weekly Overview. Use the table to create a plan and track your work.
  • Pay close attention to due dates. Although most activities are due at the end of the week, some (especially discussions) might have mid-week due dates.
  • Check your Private Topic daily to see if you have messages from your teacher!
  • Focus on your goals of the day: participate in class discussions, complete a written assignment, check in with a group. Your work will vary each week, so tackle assignments consistently. Read and post discussions a few times during the week!

4. Self-Advocate

Self-advocacy means taking responsibility and initiative to get what you need – not waiting for others to act for you. For some students, this skill comes naturally, while for others it takes effort and practice. One way to be a strong self-advocate is to ask questions of your teacher. Communication is key – your teachers and staff cannot answer a question or solve a problem if they don’t know the question or problem exists! Let us know how we can help you.

Here are some tips for getting help from your teacher:

  • Don’t be shy! Other students probably have the same question as you.
  • Make your questions specific – providing detail helps your teacher solve your problem or provide information that will help you understand the concept more fully.
  • Ask questions in the right area – read below about different areas for asking questions.
  • Be patient! Teachers are expected to respond to your question within 1-day, Monday to Friday. Many teachers respond faster than this, but you should be aware of this expectation.
  • If you are struggling to get answers to your questions, file a support request. We are happy to help provide you with additional support and want you to succeed.

How to ask questions:
Each class has discussion boards for specific types of questions. Students will be provided with additional information in each course. We ask that students not use email to communicate with teachers. When students post questions within the course we can assist as needed. Some of the discussion boards are:

  • Have a Question? – In this discussion board, students post questions about navigation, problems locating or posting assignments, or more details on assignment expectations.
  • Private Topic – You have a private topic (PT) where you can communicate with your teacher if you have questions about grades, information about absences, or other private matters.

Remember you can also call VHS Learning for support. We can be reached at 978-897-1900 between 8AM and 4PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.


Have a great school year!

Amy Michalowski