What do I Need to Succeed?

What skills do I need to be successful in an online course? 

Students taking online classes have a greater responsibility for their own success than students in traditional classroom settings. A successful online learner is one who …

  • Is self-motivated to log in regularly, find details about assignments and seek out help when needed.
  • Is self-disciplined and able to work on a flexible schedule without getting behind. 
  • Can dedicate enough time to each course. Online classes require at least as much time as traditional classes, and often more. A typical three-credit online course can easily require nine to 12 hours per week.
  • Is good at reading and writing. Online classes require more reading and writing than traditional, on-campus classes.
  • Has good computer skills and is comfortable sending and receiving email, navigating web pages and using computer software.
  • Has convenient, dependable access to a computer that meets the technical requirements listed below.

What computer hardware and software do I need to take an online course?

Successful online students have the following:

  • A laptop or desktop computer (PC or Mac*) running Windows version 7 or higher or Apple Mac OS 10.6 or higher with high-speed internet access
  • An Outlook 365 email account (provided by CCC)
  • A reasonably current web browser (Firefox or Chrome is recommended). Download Firefox or Chrome

Tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices may be used, but not all features of the CCC site are guaranteed to work with these devices. Please make sure you have a computer with a Windows or Mac operating system available to complete your coursework. 

Browser Minimum version Recommended version
Google Chrome 30.0 Latest
Mozilla Firefox 25.0 Latest
Apple Safari 6 Latest
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Latest

JavaScript and cookies enabled. (How to enable JavaScript and cookies) 

Additional software

Adobe Acrobat Reader 

Adobe Flash plug-in

Some classes may require additional software to be installed.

*Note to Mac users: Use the free Firefox web browser instead of Safari. 

14 Ways to Study Smarter

Keep up with your course.

Online courses are time-consuming and you need to keep up with the reading and discussion boards. You should keep a calendar of due dates so you can plan your study time to have assignments completed on time.

Keep in touch with your instructor.

Study the syllabus to understand the instructor’s testing format, grading system and expectations. If you do not understand an assignment or have technical problems, contact your instructor right away.

Schedule regular study periods.

If you don’t set aside a specific study time, chances are you will fall behind quickly. Select and use the same area if possible, away from distractions.

Be realistic.

When you make up your study schedule, take into account your work and home schedules and plan for study times you will be able to complete. Remember the average time per week to spend on an online course is 10-12 hours. If you run into conflicts with your study schedule, it is better to spend half an hour on your course than to plan for an hour or two and not work on it all.

Study short and often.

Your brain takes in information faster and retains it better if you don’t try to overload it.

Start study sessions on time.

The majority of people work most efficiently during daylight hours. In most cases, one hour during the day is worth one-and-a-half hours at night. Decide what your best time is and try to schedule your study time accordingly. You accomplish more when you are alert. If you find yourself nodding off, give in to it. It's better to pick up at another time rather than try to get through everything when you can’t think straight. Tackle the toughest areas first, while you are most alert.

Set a specific goal for each subject you study.

You'll accomplish more and do it faster if you set a specific goal for each study session. Don't worry if you don’t reach your set goal within your allotted study time. Either reschedule the task into your next study period or go back to it later in the day, if you can.

Start assignments as soon as they are given.

A little work on an assignment each day will allow you time to give attention to its quality. Your workload will be spread out so you will avoid doing it at the last minute.

Review regularly.

Reviewing your work – notes, assignments and discussion boards – on a regular basis keeps you up to date and helps shorten the study time required for quizzes and exams.

Take regular breaks.

The general rule of thumb is a 10-minute break for every 50 minutes you work. Don't study through your breaks. They rejuvenate you for your next hour of studying.

Reward yourself.

Giving yourself a pat on the back also gives you an incentive to reach your goals.

Keep on top of it.

Letting work pile up can leave you with an overwhelming task. It's easy to feel that you’ll never get on top of it again. If you find yourself falling behind, review your study and time management skills. If something unexpected happens in your life and affects your work on the course, contact the instructor and discuss it with him or her.