Important COVID-19 Information

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Orientation to Online Learning

Orientation to Online Learning

We would like to welcome you to online learning at Doane. There are a few key pieces of information we would like you to have before you begin. 

Digital Literacy

Digital literacy includes a set of technical skills that you will use to be successful as an online learner.

Spires and Bartlett (2012) define digital literacy as "Locating and consuming digital content; Creating digital content; and Communicating digital content."

Along with these skills, digital literacy involves the ability to evaluate digital content as well.

Use the following free assessment tool to test your digital literacy.
Northstar Digital Literacy Assessments 

For support in understanding or developing your digital literacy contact Academic Support.
Academic Support

How to Succeed in Online Courses


Being successful at anything requires persistence.

Daniel Pink, author of several bestselling books on business, work and behavior famously said that “persistence trumps talent” (Weston, 2008).

The idea behind the quote is that no matter how much talent you have if it is inappropriately applied, your chances of success are more limited, whereas a persistent and motivated person can overcome the toughest of obstacles. Similarly, success in online courses requires you to be persistent, logging in regularly to the learning management system and completing assignments and other learning tasks consistently and on time. At times you may experience technical problems or outages, so your desire and ability to persist despite challenges is crucial to your success.


Research shows that self-regulated learners perform better in online courses.

Self-regulation includes the “thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are oriented to attaining goals.” (Zimmerman, 2002). 

A self-directed learner will have the resourcefulness to tap into existing external human and material resources in order to solve problems and to achieve their learning goals. (Manning, 2007)

Define Your Goals

Take some time to discover your goals for taking online courses. Think about what you want and how you’re going to get there. Become aware of your thoughts, assumptions, and mindset.

By doing this, you will be engaging in metacognition, which in essence means, “thinking about thinking.” Metacognition will enable you to recognize and shift away from unproductive behaviors before they cause problems and implement new strategies like self-organization, adaptation and effective studying.

As you discover your goals, consider:

  • What are the daily behaviors that will lead you to achieve your learning goals?
  • Will you need to shift your mindset or behavior in any way?
  • Do you currently have an excellent place to study?
  • What kind of study schedule do you plan to have?
  • Do you need additional support?
  • How will you put that support in place?

Study Planning Tools

In order to get the most out of your educational investment you will need to invest time in studying. The most successful students will develop an organized approach and while avoiding common pitfalls. Take a look at the resources below for tips on planning your study time.

Study Plan Guide

GoConqr Study Planner

Academic Integrity

Students at Doane University are expected to demonstrate integrity in their academic work and consciously avoid any form of academic dishonesty. Therefore, please familiarize yourself with our academic integrity policies and seek out assistance if you do not understand any of the policies that have been laid out. For an quick overview of the what constitutes an academic integrity violation visit our Academic Integrity page.


As you begin to ponder the answers to the questions above, you may find that you need additional assistance. The Academic Support Center supports online students in a variety of ways and will be able to help you if you find that you need additional support or resources to be successful in learning online.

Connecting with Your Instructor

Once you begin your course, remember that your instructor has provided you with his or her contact information. Contact your instructor if you have questions. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Many common problems can be solved with just an email.

Working with Your Peers

Last, the majority of online courses will ask you to participate in live discussions with your classmates. When interacting with your peers in online courses, following internet etiquette, or “Netiquette” will help keep communications neutral, even on hotly debated topics. Please read through the netiquette guidelines below before you begin your coursework.