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Tips for Student Success During Winter Term

Most students who enroll in Winter Term have a rewarding experience. However, Winter Term can be challenging if a student has not taken an online course before or participated in an accelerated course because they may not be aware of the expectations and structure of the courses. Below are some tips and resources to help ensure students have a successful term.

Winter Term Student Success Prediction


Disclaimer: The probability provided is an estimate. Any decisions made concerning enrolling in Winter Term courses should be made with your academic adviser.

winter term checklist 2021

New Winter Term Checklist!

Stay organized and on task with winter term processes by using the winter term checklist.  The new checklist provides all the essential steps for a smooth start in winter term.

Winter Term courses are delivered online through the D2L Brightspace learning management system. Specific methods and approaches will vary across programs and courses so it is important to understand the expectations from the professor (this means read the syllabus!) and to reach out with any questions. Free online tutoring is available for several courses during Winter Term. The Winter Term website and the Winter Term Student Checklist are also good resources. Below are the Top 10 Tips to help students be successful during Winter Term:

  1. Stay connected. Regularly check your APSU email and D2L pages for your courses. Log in daily to check emails and to see if there are any updates or work due in your courses. You can access these through AP Onestop.
  2. Reach out to your professor if you have questions or need clarification. Let the professor know who you are and which course you are in - many professors teach more than one course. Be patient as it may take some time for the professor to be able to respond.
  3. Find a dedicated work space. Your workspace should be quiet and free from distractions. Do not try to multitask. An ideal work space is somewhere that you can sit comfortably but also stay alert (desk, table, counter, etc.) and have room to spread out your needed materials (computer/laptop, textbook, notes, pens/pencils, etc.)
  4. Set a schedule and stick with it. Create a schedule for course work (viewing lectures, reading assigned chapters/articles, working on assignments and projects, etc.) and stay dedicated to working on course work during those chosen hours. Make a list of all of your assignments and exams, including deadlines (on paper or in a digital format - whatever works best for you is fine). Do not procrastinate - Winter Term goes quickly!
  5. Communicate additional consideration needs to your professor. You need to tell your professor if there is anything happening that will impact your ability to complete your course work so that you can work together to find a solution. While the professor may be limited in how much they can adjust assignments and exams since Winter Term is short, they may be able to offer a different solution or refer you to a person or department that can better help. (Examples of additional considerations: medical appointments that cannot be rescheduled, physical or mental illness, family needs, slow/low internet connections, limited access to a computer or needed device, etc. - while some of these can be avoided with foresight, sometimes unforeseen circumstances happen) 
  6. Think ahead and do not wait until the last minute. Read the syllabus and ensure you understand the required materials and online tools for the course. If you need a textbook or reading materials, make sure you have them prior to the start of your course. If you have to use an online tool such as D2L or Zoom, log in to make sure your APSU ID and password are working or if you do not have the needed software (i.e. Zoom) then install it and ensure you can log in prior to the start of a lecture or course. If you need accommodations through Disability Services then make sure you understand and follow their process. There are many online resources for APSU students.
  7. Prepare for the unexpected. There may be bumps and hurdles along the way as you adjust to Winter Term. Learn and grow from your experiences. Perhaps you are planning on completing an assignment after work, but get home and your internet is out so you are unable to access the needed information on D2L. How would you handle this unexpected situation?
  8. Stay positive and be proactive. If you experience any issues then see if you can find a solution, if not then reach out for support. An example would be if you were assigned an article to read but the link posted in D2L is broken/does not work - what could you do to solve this problem? You could access the APSU library database to search for the article, reach out to classmates to see if anyone has a PDF that they could email you, or email the professor to let them know the link is broken.
  9. Take care of your mental health. Be aware of your needs. Set aside time for self-care during your daily schedule. It is important to save time for yourself whether it is reading a book, going for a walk, relaxing with a bath, working out, calling a friend, meditating, cooking, or whatever works for you to help manage stress - make sure you are taking care of yourself. See the APSU Health and Counseling Center website for more resources. 
  10. Be patient. Winter Term can become overwhelming if you are under prepared or do not understand expectations. Ensure you take the time to set yourself up for success. Utilize these tips and resources. In addition, you can discuss your Winter Term plan with your family, friends, and support network so they understand the commitment you are making and how they can best support you. 

Check out the Winter Term Resources page to understand and use what is available to you during Winter Term.