Academic Success Resources

Strategies for Success

Doing well in an online class takes more than just doing the course work. It also involves good communication, organization and a back-up plan if technology fails.

A Successful Online Student...

  • Must be motivated, self-disciplined and able to work independently.
  • Should have good time management and communication skills.
  • Logs-in frequently to read new announcements and course materials.
  • Interacts with classmates and the instructor.


Online etiquette or netiquette is the correct or acceptable way of communicating on the Internet. Some guidelines to follow are:

  • Include context – When commenting on a message or conversation thread it is good netiquette to include a relevant quote from the original message to give context to your comment. When sending messages to your instructor, include the course number in the subject. This information helps the instructor provide a more appropriate response.
  • Be yourself - Be willing to express yourself openly and sign your name to your messages. You should always use your TWU Google Mail account when communicating with instructors and other Administrative services at TWU.
  • Avoid sarcasm – Jokes, dark humor and sarcasm are often difficult to convey over the Internet. To avoid potential misunderstandings, always indicate the humorous nature of your comment. You could do this by starting with a phrase like, “On a lighter note…”
  • Do not SHOUT – Avoid writing whole words or sentences in capital letters. This is the equivalent of someone SCREAMING IN YOUR EAR!
  • Respect privacy - Some messages contain sensitive content or personal information. Before forwarding this type of message, get permission to share the content.
  • Look at who sent the message - Frequently you will want to respond to your instructor or the individual that sent the message. Some messages will automatically reply to the whole mailing list, be sure to check this and make the appropriate change before sending your reply.
  • A person sent you the message – Remember that an actual person with real feelings, beliefs, imperfections, and emotions is behind every message, email or comment. Be thoughtful when you compose your response and consider how your response will be received.

Communicating with Your Instructors

Talking with instructors provides students with the following benefits:

  • Communicate with your instructors often to receive valuable feedback, gain insights into how to approach your course work, and build your confidence.
  • Take advantage of office hours and discussion forums to ask questions and engage with your instructor.
  • Talking with your instructor is a valuable way to learn about an academic field. Most instructors will share information and insights with you about choosing your major or potential future careers in their field.


Time Management

Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.

  • Keep your notes and assignments well organized both on your computer and material you print and file.
  • Keep one calendar that has assignment due dates on it so that you can plan ahead and allow plenty of time to complete assignments.
  • Have a designated area in your home where you can study and not be interrupted. Allocate blocks of time to study.
  • Set aside a specific time to work on your class each day. Once you have set aside time to study for each of your classes, consider how you will be using that time. Try to give yourself a specific set of tasks to accomplish.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to ask any questions, complete the work, and submit assignments before due dates.
  • Online courses require as much time and effort as a face-to-face course, so allow plenty of time during the week to study and complete assignments.

Tutoring and Training

Academic Coaching

Students may engage in virtual academic coaching sessions with the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence. Within their coaching sessions, the student and the coach work collaboratively on study skills and strategies including test taking tips, note taking, and time management. Students may schedule an appointment online to meet with an academic coach.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is an online tutorial library provided for free to TWU students. Utilizing this service may enhance the skills related to your courses. High quality instructional videos are taught by industry experts and are self-paced. Topics include Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Adobe Suite, and more.

View the login instructions for LinkedIn Learning. Please note that the resources found on LinkedIn Learning are intended to provide self-directed support for students with varying levels of familiarity with various software and topics, and if made required, the overall time commitment of the course should be considered.

Mathematic & Technology Success Center

The Mathematics and Technology Success Center (MTSC), located on the TWU Denton Campus in MCL 307, is available to assist TWU students in reaching their educational goals in math and technology through technology programs and individual or group tutoring. Tutoring is provided for TWU students who are enrolled in math and technology courses or enrolled in any courses with math or technology components. They also tutor any statistics course and the statistical software: SAS and SPSS. For students who cannot come to campus, the MTSC also provides several online resources for math review, computer literacy and exam preparation.

OWLive – TWU Online Writing Lab Live

The Write Site has a program called Online Writing Lab Live (OWLive). Students can schedule live, online tutoring sessions with Write Site staff. OWLive combines audio, video, and chat for a synchronous online tutoring session.

Science Learning Resource Center

The Science Learning Resource Center offers drop-in, scheduled face-to-face, asynchronous, and online video sessions to assist with your learning need.


Know your technology skills and study habits. If you are not familiar with these things about yourself, go through the SmarterMeasure Assessment.

SmarterMeasure is an online tool to provide you with information on your ability to succeed in distance education courses. Distance education courses are not any easier than face-to-face courses, are usually not self-paced and often contain more information than corresponding face-to-face courses. To be successful in distance courses, information about your personal strengths and weaknesses may be helpful. The purpose of SmarterMeasure is to help you learn more about skills and traits that have been shown to help students become successful in distance education.

Your scores will not impact your university application. Please answer the questions honestly for the most accurate results. You will receive links to self-help resources along with your score.

Take the SmarterMeasure Assessment:

  1. Navigate to the SmarterMeasure assessment
  2. Select Login as First Time User.
  3. Choose student_twu as your username and enter studenttwu as the password. 
  4. Complete the Personal Information section. Be sure to provide your email information – if you need to stop the test and resume it later, you will need the PIN number SmarterMeasure sends out to you via email. Once you have completed the assessment, you can also use this PIN to go back and see your scores if you or your advisor would like to review them.
  5. Complete the School Requested Data sections:
  6. In section 1, choose your distance education program. You must choose ONE of the options listed.
  7. In section 2, indicate whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student. You must choose ONE of the options listed.
  8. Select "Start the SmarterMeasure Assessment" and complete the assessment. It will take about half an hour to complete the assessment. If needed, you may save and exit the assessment at any time and return to complete the assessment using your PIN number (see number 3 above) later.

Visit SmarterMeasure for more information. You can also get more information and discuss using SmarterMeasure for your online or hybrid program by emailing Valerie Shapko, Instructional Designer, Houston Center or by calling her at 713.794.2042.

Page last updated 9:34 AM, April 28, 2023