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Programs of Study / Online Learning

Student Success

Many students can find the transition from face-to-face course to online difficult. Click the drop downs below for valuable information regarding online learning and how to be a successful online learning student at CEI.

Many online students find it hard to stay motivated without the physical presence of classmates and in class prompting by instructors. It can be challenging when you feel like you're working on your own all the time. Be prepared and plan ways to stay motivated before you get behind in your course work.

Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

Goals
If you’re prone to putting off work, set some definite goals for yourself and stick to them.

Rewards
Schedule in rewards. Your midterms week is a nightmare, but it will all be over Friday. Schedule something fun for yourself, take some time off or allow yourself some small indulgence.

Study Environment
Create an ideal study environment. Some students need absolute silence, while others can’t seem to concentrate without music in the background. No matter what your preference is, you’ll make much better use of your time in the right environment. If you can’t escape in-home interruptions, try the library or a coffee shop.

Connect with your classmates
Participate in class discussions and get to know your classmates. Watching their progress can help motivate you to keep up.

Chart your progress
Keep a list of tasks you need to complete each week and cross them off as you complete them. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with watching your goals be accomplished. When times get hard, you can always turn to your chart and see how far you’ve come.

Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

Goals
If you’re prone to putting off work, set some definite goals for yourself and stick to them.

Rewards
Schedule in rewards. Your midterms week is a nightmare, but it will all be over Friday. Schedule something fun for yourself, take some time off or allow yourself some small indulgence.

Study Environment
Create an ideal study environment. Some students need absolute silence, while others can’t seem to concentrate without music in the background. No matter what your preference is, you’ll make much better use of your time in the right environment. If you can’t escape in-home interruptions, try the library or a coffee shop.

Connect with your classmates
Participate in class discussions and get to know your classmates. Watching their progress can help motivate you to keep up.

Chart your progress
Keep a list of tasks you need to complete each week and cross them off as you complete them. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with watching your goals be accomplished. When times get hard, you can always turn to your chart and see how far you’ve come.

Time Management

Staying Organized: Time Management

Time management may be the most important skill for successful online students. Online students must be very proactive in their studies and take responsibility for their own learning.

There's a lot to keep track of for your online classes. Most instructors won't send frequent reminders about readings, assignments and due dates. You will be expected to use the syllabus and course calendar to help you keep track of deadlines. Many online students are juggling jobs and a family while taking online classes, which means it's especially important to stay organized.

Organization & Time Management Tips

Use a calendar
You can use a traditional calendar, paper organizer, your phone, or an online calendar. Whatever you choose, be sure to take some time at the beginning of the term to write down the due dates for your assignments. Even better, plan ahead and make a note to start on the assignment several days before it's due! Once you pick a time, stay committed to that reserved time and treat it like an appointment that can’t be budged. Check your calendar regularly. If you use a calendar on your phone or computer, set alert systems to send you reminders.

In an effort to keep you informed regarding important drop and payment deadlines, college holidays, and registration dates, there is a CEI Academic Calendar.

Plan for the unplanned


Make sure your schedule is flexible. Overestimate the time you will need to accommodate unexpected interruptions, family plans, work responsibilities, or possible illness and any number of eventualities you can't anticipate.

Schedule time to relax
You won't be able to focus or retain what you learn if you don't allow yourself some down time.

Don't procrastinate
Online courses allow you to work at your own pace to some degree. Don't let this flexibility tempt you to put things off until the last minute. When you put off starting the essay that's due at midnight on Sunday until Sunday evening, that's when your computer is sure to fail you. Many students who don't succeed in online classes lack the self-discipline and motivation to sit down and get their work done on a daily basis.

Resist distractions
Find a quiet place to study. Develop strategies to filter out disturbances. Giving in to distraction will only impede your progress.

Use your resources
If you find yourself struggling with an assignment and feel like you're wasting a lot of time, seek help! There are lots of resources to help you. Here are just a few ways you can get help:

  • Tutoring - you can work with a tutor on campus in the tutoring centers or use online tutoring for free. The CEI Tutoring Center
  • Online Resources - search for a tutorial online or contact a CEI librarian to get help finding study aids. The CEI Library
  • Contact your instructor - You can call or email your instructor for advice, or to set an appointment to get extra help.

Online classes have deadlines and due dates just like classes on campus. Be prepared for the worst. Have a back up plan in mind in case your computer crashes or you lose your primary internet connection. There are computers available for student use on campus in the library and computer labs. See if you can think of other options. What about the public library? Maybe a friend or relative can help you out?

All online students should be ready with a backup plan and know what to do if technology fails. Here are a few resources to help you successfully navigate technology issues as an online student.

Blackboard Learn Access

The best way to access Blackboard is: https://cei.blackboard.com/. If there is a major outage that affects all classes, instructors will be notified. Check with your instructors for any updates on course deadlines or if you experience an issue with your course or class related activities or materials.

Online Course Problems

If you ever experience a technology failure within your online course (like a quiz or assignment that won’t submit) contact your instructor before contacting the IT Help Desk to explain the issue you are having with Blackboard. The best way to contact your instructor is always through Blackboard email. If Blackboard is down, check the staff directory for their CEI email and phone information.

Student Help Desk

IT Help Desk website address.

Before classes start checklist

Log in to Self Service

Getting to know how to use Student Self Service is important, as this is where you will go to access your student account information, register for classes, conduct business with the college and communicate with your instructors and other students. Make sure to log in and get familiar with all Student Self Service has to offer. If you need help with username or password information, contact the Student Help Desk, or call (208) 680-6874.

Check your CEI Email

Your CEI student email is the official form of communication from CEI. It’s recommended that you check your CEI email daily. You'll receive important updates and college announcements through this account.

Accommodation Options

Disability impacts lots of people, but not everyone is familiar with how the accommodation process works. If in doubt - check it out. Disability Services , or call (208) 535-5314. The Disability Services office is in Building #5, Room 582.

Make financial arrangements for tuition payment

If your financial arrangements are delayed or will not cover your full-term charges, you must set up a payment plan or pay the remaining charges to avoid course deletion, late fees, financial holds, or collections.

Buy your textbooks

Using the CRNs (Course Reference Numbers) for the classes in which you are registered, visit your campus bookstore to buy your text books for the term. If using another service outside of the bookstore, to be safe, you should check with your professor to find out what edition of your text is being used and make sure the book you buy is the same edition: prices are great, but sales are final!

Student ID card

Once you registered, visit the Student Services office to get your student ID card.

Check your class schedule in Student Self Service

Check your registration status, schedule, or to add/drop courses in Student Self Service.

CEI’s Policy on academic honesty, cheating, and plagiarism

The College of Eastern Idaho places a high value on the integrity of academic honesty. Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and violations of academic honesty. Students found guilty of these offenses can expect serious consequences. Please review and familiarize yourself with the current Student Handbook policies on academic honesty, cheating, and plagiarism. You will find the current student handbook located at the following weblink: www.cei.edu/current-student.

Listed Below are the Definitions of Academic Honesty, Plagiarism, and Cheating from the CEI student handbook page 26 of the Student Handbook Planner:

  • Academic Honesty: Academic honesty mandates the use of one's own thoughts and materials in writing papers, taking tests, and in other classroom or shop/lab-related activities. Students who aid others in any infraction of academic honesty are considered equally guilty.
  • Cheating: Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The term "academic exercise" includes all forms of work submitted for credit hours.
  • Plagiarism: Plagiarism, simply stated, is not giving credit where credit is due. It is the act of directly quoting, paraphrasing, or copying ideas without citing the source of that quote, paraphrase, or idea. Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Violations of academic honesty will be documented and may result in failure of the class or disciplinary probation.
    • When students are asked to submit individual work, they are expected to do so. When students are assigned to work together on a project, it is not considered a breach of academic honesty for them to gain from each other's experience and to share ideas.

Keep in mind that all assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. in an online course are to be taken and completed according to the specific directions as listed by the instructor. Only work with others if specifically instructed that you can, but in general, assume you must do any online course work without help in any form from other sources.

Click link for more information on how to Avoid Plagiarism.

Guidelines for Academic Integrity

Students assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of the coursework they submit. The following are guidelines to assist students in observing academic integrity:

  1. Students must do their own work and submit only their own work on examinations, reports, and projects, unless otherwise permitted by the instructor. Students are encouraged to contact their instructor about appropriate citation guidelines.
  2. Students may benefit from working in groups. They may collaborate or cooperate with other students on graded assignments or examinations as directed by the instructor.
  3. Students must follow all written and/or verbal instructions given by instructors or designated college representatives prior to taking examinations, placement assessments, tests, quizzes, and evaluations.
  4. Students are responsible for adhering to course requirements as specified by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Communicating online is an essential part of the online learning experience. Online students must be comfortable communicating in writing to participate in discussions, complete assignments and work with instructors. Communicating in writing can be tricky. Written messages lack the tone of voice and facial expressions that help us to express ourselves in person. To ensure that we communicate clearly it is important to follow some simple rules of internet etiquette or "Netiquette."

Netiquette, or net etiquette, refers to etiquette on the Internet. Based on the Golden Rule, good netiquette is basically not doing anything online that will annoy or frustrate other people. Three areas where good netiquette is highly stressed are email, online chat, and newsgroups.

Some Netiquette Rules

  • Follow the same rules online as you would in person. Be polite and ethical.
  • Use your "school" netiquette for online classes.
  • Consider your audience and think about how your comments may be received by the reader.
  • Be a clear and concise writer.
  • Do not WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. It comes across as shouting.
  • Do not use emoticons or texting language. This is not professional writing and is often misread by people using screen readers.
  • Be careful with humor and sarcasm. Without voice inflections and body language, it can be easy for a remark to be misinterpreted.
  • Don't assume negative intent. Give others the benefit of the doubt.  Ask for clarification (if needed) before responding to someone's comments.
  • Respect the privacy of your classmates. 
  • Give back to the class. If you have good and valuable information to share, please do so. The course is strengthened when each person shares his/her own experience and knowledge.
  • If you are using facts or quotes to support your comments, cite appropriate references.
  • Be aware of typos, spelling error and mixed up sentences. Using proper language and grammar is important. Don't forget to spell check your comments.
  • A good way to make sure your comments are clear and sensitive is to read them aloud before posting them.
  • When answering questions, please make sure you provide accurate information. Avoid posting opinions as fact and reference all sources.

Additional Netiquette Resources

Know Your Learning Styles

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to learning. An advantage to knowing your learning style is that you can try to obtain media that works best for you. Your instructor may be able to provide or recommend supplemental materials, or you may be able to find some on the Web or with the help of a Librarian.

As you review the learning styles below, think about what your learning style might be.

Learning Styles

There are many different theories about learning styles. One popular theory asserts that there are three basic learning styles: visual, kinesthetic and auditory. The descriptions below explain how an online student with each learning style preference might interact with online course materials.

Visual Learners learn best from visual objects like graphs, charts and pictures. In an online class they may like a lot of graphics to help them process text-based information. These can be in the form of simple pictures or more complex charts, animations, videos, diagrams and maps. Visual learners may use diagrams, or color-coded notes and flash cards to help them organize their thoughts.

Kinesthetic Learners express themselves through movement. In an online course they may like to click the mouse and move things around. In an online class kinesthetic learners learn well through manipulating models. It helps some kinesthetic learners to incorporate movement into their study routine and physically write things down, study while standing, or participate in fieldwork to help them retain information.

Auditory Learners learn best through hearing and speaking. They often prefer to be told how to do things verbally, and then summarize what they have learned out loud. Auditory learners may prefer sound files, recorded lectures or video clips in a web-based course. Chat rooms and bulletin boards work well for auditory learners because they learn by discussing. Some auditory learners find it helps to read their textbooks aloud.

Take a Learning Styles Evaluation
You can find free learning styles tests online. Type learning styles test into a search engine and you will find several.

Are online courses right for you? Take this quick survey to find out!

Helpful Links

Contact

Ryan Faulkner, EdD
Director 
208-535-5417

Jennifer Taylor
Instructional Designer
208-535-5632

Connor Spurling
Instructional Designer
208-535-5638

Office Hours: 8am to 5pm
ceionlinelearning@cei.edu

College of Eastern Idaho, 208.524.3000, 1600 S 25th E, Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Student Right To Know

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