Campus resources

Apps provided

UIS provides many apps and tech tools for our students. You'll log into all your UIS accounts with your NetID.

Discounted software offers are also available through the Software Webstore.

Be a self-directed learner!

Practical Advice for Taking Online Courses

Get to know your syllabus & read everything

  • Print a copy of the syllabus -- a document that serves as a road map of the course. Don’t file it away – check it early and check it often!
  • Read all course materials and communications carefully and completely.
  • Reading for comprehension is critical for success in online learning. 
  • If you don’t understand, ask!


Establish a routine & stick to it!

Establish a regular study time.

  • Find somewhere quiet and free from distractions to study.
  • Log in to the course frequently. 
  • Pay close attention and follow instructions given by the instructor.

Stay on schedule/plan ahead.

  • You can’t afford to get behind. Know the deadlines and meet them. Don’t expect the instructor to be available 24/7. Sending an 11:57 p.m. email about an exam that closes at midnight is not a successful strategy.

Keep organized study files.

  • Write assignments and discussion responses on your computer in Word or Google Docs and then put it on Canvas. Keep backup copies of all work that you have completed. 
  • Box is a file storage solution that UIS provides to all students. You’ll learn more about that in the IT presentation later in this orientation.

Participate in online class discussions.

  • You will gain a better grasp of the course material and avoid feeling isolated.

Look for study partners.

  • Other students can help you study, answer your questions, and remind you of any upcoming deadlines. And sometimes, it’s nice to just chat with someone who knows exactly what you’re going through.
  • Zoom web conferencing is available for all UIS students.

Stay motivated

  • Online learning is an endurance sport. 
  • When you’re feeling burned out and tired of staring at a screen, don’t give up. Take a break and come back.
  • Remember that everyone has good days and bad. 
  • The key to online class success: Don't give up. Talk to your instructor. Reach out to campus resources for help. 

Critical thinking & communication is key

Objectively analyze and evaluate information.

  • Critical thinking and decision making is a central part of the learning process. Make decisions based on facts, as well as experience. 

Speak up

  • Be willing to “speak up” if problems arise.
  • If you experience difficulty on any level (either with the technology or with the course content), you must communicate this immediately. Otherwise, the instructor will never know anything is wrong and will be unable to help resolve the problem. Please don’t hesitate, if necessary, to communicate with your instructor by phone.

Write clearly

  • Communicate clearly through writing.
  • In the online classroom, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that you feel comfortable in expressing yourself in writing.

Think, then respond

  • Think through ideas before responding.
  • Meaningful and quality input is an essential part of the learning process. Allow for careful consideration of your responses in online class discussions. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged. You will not always be right; be prepared to accept a challenge.




You do not need to be a tech expert.

  • Make sure you have reliable access to a computer and internet service.
  • Open access to a working computer and a reliable internet connection are essential to success in completing your online course.

Technology sometimes fails. Know your back-up plan!Contact your instructor.

  1. Troubleshoot.
    → Pro Tip: Do an internet search for any error message.
  2. The UIS Tech Support Help Desk maintains extended hours for students.
  3. If your internet is down, find an alternate location to do your work, such as:
    • Libraries
    • Some restaurants 
    • Many coffee shops