Ace Your Online Class

An online course for college students who are brand new to online learning | taught by Derek Malenczak

Course description

Ace Your Online Class is a course designed to help people who have never taken an online college class before, or struggled with one in their first go around. The course teaches students how online learning differs from traditional learning, the tools needed for success, the main features of your course, and tips on how to navigate them.

Thirty instructional videos (4-10 minutes each) split into ten sections will prepare and guide learners through the maze that is your school's Learning Management System, identifying the main features most likely to be used, and strategies for best execution. Each video has an accompanying fact sheet that offers a summary of the video, optional resources, and an extra daily challenge for those wishing to take their online mastery to the next level.

The course may be taken at whatever pace works best for you, but it is designed to be consumed by watching one video per day for thirty days. This suggestion is intentional as it mimics the workflow recommended for tackling your online classes. In effect, the hope is that the routine you develop while watching these videos effectively becomes your routine for tackling online coursework.

For new online learners, this course is best taken just prior to the start of your online class (it helps if you can access the class), or as your class is beginning. Students who have struggled in the past, or are currently struggling may seek out certain sections of the course after your class has started, as needed.

The course is also particularly helpful for students with learning disabilities or cognitive issues, such as trouble with attention, concentration and memory.

In the end, you probably invested a great deal of money into college, and are about to invest a great deal of time. Make sure your time and money are well spent by arming yourself not only with a solid overview of how college online classes operate, but the mindset and workflow that you'll need to ace your online class!

Derek Malenczak
Derek Malenczak

Hello everyone and thanks for stopping in to learn more! My name is Derek Malenczak, and I am a faculty member at Rutgers University. I presently work in the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Counseling Professions as an undergraduate instructor, both in the classroom as well as online teaching. Prior to my academic career, I spent 13 years helping people with mental illness who were discharged from long-term psychiatric hospitalizations, teaching them skills so they might recover and become better integrated into their communities.

I eventually took a special interest in helping college students with mental health issues and goal-setting with more of a career focus, learning a specialized practice called Supported Education, where I tailored my skill-teaching to those needed for college; writing admissions essays, selecting courses, improving study skills, requesting an incomplete, etc.

I helped train the agency I was employed with in Supported Education, and that led to a job with school where I earned my Masters Degree with, doing research on this population. I taught cognitive remediation to college students with mental health issues in order to help them succeed with better grade and remain in school longer.

I now teach the majority of the time, but am still involved in research related to online learning. I also host a podcast called the College Student Success Podcast, which helps college students with mental health issues set and achieve goals for themselves.

I knew my blend of experience in skill teaching, goal setting, Supported Education, Cognitive Remediation, and online instruction was unique, but wasn't exactly sure how to apply it until I started teaching online more regularly. I saw students that I knew from traditional classes to be excellent students, now struggling with how to succeed in online classes. I talked to them. I considered the struggles they identified, and the idea for this course was born. I hope you find it helpful!

Course Curriculum

Module 1: Introduction, Orientation, and Overview
Video 1: Welcome and Instructor Introduction FREE PREVIEW
Video 1 Overview FREE PREVIEW
Video 2: This Course Is Designed For... FREE PREVIEW
Video 2 Overview FREE PREVIEW
Video 3: Overview of Online Learning and Course Modules FREE PREVIEW
Video 3 Overview FREE PREVIEW
Module 2: Redefining Your Workflow
Video 4: Introduction to Online Workflow
Video 4 Overview
Video 5: Facts to Consider with Online Learning
Video 5 Overview
Video 6: Urgency and Importance
Video 6 Overview
Module 3: Tools to Ace Your Online Class
Video 7: Overview of Tools and Computer Considerations
Video 7 Overview
Video 8: Your Calendar and To-Do List
Video 8 Overview
Video 9: Additional Tools You Might Need
Video 9 Overview
Module 4: The LMS (Learning Management System)
Video 10: Introduction to the Learning Management System
Video 10 Overview
Video 11: The Syllabus, or Heart of Your Online Class
Video 11 Overview
Video 12: Instructor LMS Tools and Rubrics
Video 12 Overview
Module 5: Email and Your Instructor
Video 13: Why Email is Important for Online Success
Video 13 Overview
Video 14: Course Email and Forwarding
Video 14 Overview
Video 15: Insight Into Your Online Instructor
Video 15 Overview
Module 6: Discussion Forums and Your Classmates
Video 16: Forum and Classmate Overview
Video 16 Overview
Video 17: Preparing to Post, and the Forum Posting Process
Video 17 Overview
Video 18: More Forum Tips, and Your Classmates
Video 18 Overview
Module 7: Mastering Content and Note-Taking
Video 19: The Right Way to Approach Content
Video 19 Overview
Video 20: All About Note-Taking
Video 20 Overview
Video 21: The Magic of Flash Cards
Video 21 Overview
Module 8: Online Testing
Video 22: Introduction to Online Tests
Video 22 Overview
Video 23: Test Preparation and Study Guides
Video 23 Overview
Video 24: How to Study Effectively, Info on Cheating
Video 24 Overview
Module 9: Papers, Group Work, and Large Projects
Video 25: Introduction to Large Projects
Video 25 Overview
Video 26: Planning to Write a Research Paper
Video 26 Overview
Video 27: Group Work, Synchronous Activities, and Plagiarism
Video 27 Overview
Module 10: What Happens if You Struggle?
Video 28: Reaching Out Early
Video 28 Overview
Video 29: Withdrawing and Requesting an Incomplete
Video 29 Overview
Video 30: Accommodations and Other Supportive Tools
Video 30 Overview