Tips For Success

Pre-Semester Preparations


Accessing your Sandburg “mySANDBURG” student portal, Sandburg e-mail and online course links…

  • Click on the “mySANDBURG” link in the upper right corner.
  • Scroll down and click on “mySANDBURG Tutorial” to get oriented to your “mySANDBURG” portal.
  • Login to your “mySANDBURG” portal as directed in the tutorial and on the portal login page.
  • Once logged in, on the left side of the portal, click on the “My Courses” tab, where links to your online courses and Moodle, the course management system, are located.
  • Complete the Moodle system orientation by clicking on the links.
  • Regularly check your Sandburg e-mail, located mid-center of the “mySANDBURG” portal.


If you experience navigation problems… Submit a Help Desk ticket

  • Go to the Tech Help Desk.
  • Click on “Submit a Tech Help Desk Ticket.”
  • Select “mySANDBURG Issues.”
  • Click on “Next.” Complete all fields. Include a phone number and any error messages received.
  • If you have trouble submitting a ticket you can call the Help Desk at 1-877-236-1862, ext. 5446 or (309) 341-5446


Read the “Online Learning FAQ” page and confirm the “Hardware and Software” requirement

  • Click the “Online Learning FAQ” link.
  • Confirm that you meet the minimum technology requirements and that your computer and Internet connections are working well.


Basic skills for online courses

  • Online instructors do not teach technology.
  • Technology skills are a pre-requisite for online learning.
  • You must know how to: send e-mails and attachments, search the Internet, insert delivery and read receipts when sending e-mails through Microsoft Outlook, format Microsoft Word documents, and send PDF and RTF files.

Planning and Organizing

  • Online courses are available for access at midnight, the night before the semester officially begins.
  • Sign in and start your coursework the first day of class, just as if you were attending a lecture course.
  • Read the course syllabus through its entirety. Note assignment, quiz, and test location and times. Some exams may need to be proctored.
  • Create a calendar of important deadlines.
  • Print a copy of the course syllabus and note the instructor’s phone number and e-mail for future reference.
  • Schedule your time. Keeping up with assignments is critical. Procrastination and falling behind on assignments is one of the biggest reasons for failure in an online learning environment.
  • In an online course, plan for 3-4 hours of study time per credit hour, per week. For a 3 credit hour online course – plan for 9-12 hours a week for reading and assignments. Some weeks may require more time depending on the course expectations and tests required during any given week. Plan accordingly.
  • If you are having difficulty, ask for help immediately. Communication is vital to success.


Technology and Assignment

  • Plan for glitches in technology. You never know when tech problems will occur.
  • Avoid missing deadlines by not waiting until the last minute to hand in assignments. Sandburg, as well as public libraries, have computers available for student use.
  • If you have computer problems, contact your instructor immediately.
  • Student assignments have been known to get “lost in cyberspace,” either as a result of student or instructor technology issues. As a precaution, when you get a confirmation message that your work has been submitted, print this message for your records.
  • If using the Sandburg e-mail system through mySANDBURG to send e-mails and assignments, insert delivery and read receipts and print the receipts for your records. This will leave no question as to whether assignments were sent or received.