Online Learning: How to Succeed in an Online Learning Environment


How do I succeed as a student in an online learning environment?


Succeeding in an Online Environment

Maybe online learning sounds daunting, or maybe it sounds wonderful. In either of these scenarios, our goal is to provide you, the student, with as much support and assistance as is necessary. This document will provide direction and resources of available YSU supported tools that can assist you in navigating this new learning environment. 

To succeed:

  1. Check your YSU emails often.  
  2. Be patient and persistent. If you run into any technical challenges or issues such as Wi-Fi connection or unable to access a service like Webex, please reach out to our Service Desk at 330-941-1595. We are here to support you. The Service Desk will be available from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm M-F for walk-up visits and 24/7 phone support.
  3. Actively participate in the discussions and live sessions and meet with your friends online.
  4. Keep in contact with your faculty members.
  5. Create a study environment. Find a place that you can set up and be comfortable but is conducive to studying.

During this time, faculty will be using a multiple set of tools to conduct the class. Blackboard is our primary Learning Management System but faculty may also be using tools such as Blackboard Collaborate, Webex Meetings and Teams, Microsoft Stream, OneDrive, and more. If you are unsure how to access or use these tools, we have gathered training resources of curated user guides and videos for training. There will also be some workshops for students in the coming weeks.

Communication, Lectures, and Course Materials

Faculty will communicate with students via email, Blackboard messages, Blackboard announcements, and discussion boards. Class sessions will be either synchronous (live) or asynchronous. Faculty will also hold virtual office hours. The tools to facilitate these office hours are either Blackboard Collaborate or Webex Meetings and Teams. They will communicate with you on how they plan to hold virtual office hours.

You may attend a virtual real-time lecture or participate in a class discussion via Blackboard Collaborate or Webex Meetings or Teams. These virtual sessions will be recorded and available to students unable to attend the live virtual sessions. Faculty will provide a link to access the videos by posting the link in Blackboard or send it to students via email.

Lectures may be pre-recorded videos, and you will receive a communication indicating where to find and view the videos. The links to the videos will be placed in Blackboard, Webex or Microsoft Stream.

Course material such as PowerPoints or assignments can be found in Blackboard, emailed, or uploaded into a shared OneDrive folder. If placed in OneDrive, students will receive an email notification inviting them to view the folder. To submit assignments, students will upload or complete the assignments or assessments in Blackboard or via a shared OneDrive folder. If you are submitting an assignment using OneDrive, please create a folder on your OneDrive and share the link with your instructor. 

There are multiple ways that you can collaborate with each other. Blackboard Collaborate and Webex Teams provide a great collaboration space for you to work where you can message, meet via video, schedule times together, whiteboard and file share.

If you receive an assignment outside of Blackboard, the instructor may ask you to create a folder on your OneDrive and share the link with them.


If you need technical support please call the YSU Service Desk at 330-941-1595. If you need tutoring or other student support resources please reach out to the Resch Academic Success Center, (330)941-3538.


  • Synchronous eLearning: Live classes through chat and/or video conferencing. These types of classes would need to happen during your regular scheduled course time. While synchronous learning may be appropriate in certain contexts, we caution in the use of synchronous learning because of unequal access to technology for the students enrolled in courses. 
  • Asynchronous eLearning: This type of learning can happen at any time for a student. Content and coursework is delivered by the instructor through an online platform (e.g. Blackboard, OneDrive, email) and students interact with the material and meet expected deadlines. 
  • Webex Meetings and Teams: This is a software that allows you to virtually collaborate with one or many people. You can video call, audio call, message, file share, use a collaborative whiteboard, share screens, and record video. Everyone with a YSU login has access to this tool. 
  • Microsoft Stream: Similar to YouTube, Stream is a video service. It is connect to your YSU login and you are able to control who can view your content. 
  • OneDrive: A file hosting service, like Google Drive, but it is connected to your YSU email address and allows you to store files, share files, and create shared documents/folders. 


To access Blackboard, go to the YSU homepage and click Penguin Portal. Click on Blackboard.

Browsers that support Blackboard are:

  • Apple Safari
  • Microsoft Edge 
  • Mozilla Firefox 
  • Google Chrome 
  • Internet Explorer is not supported.

Click here to learn how to access Blackboard: How to Access Blackboard

Click here to learn how to use the mobile app: Blackboard Mobile App

Click here to learn how to use various Blackboard features:  Blackboard for Students

Course Navigation

From the moment you log in, you have access to core features in the Ultra Base Navigation menu where your name appears. You can easily return to the menu from wherever you are, even if you're in a course. The menu peeks from behind the other layers you have open.

When you select any link from the menu, you see a global view across all your courses. For example, Grades shows all your updated grades organized by course. No need to navigate to each course to see what's ready for grading.

Oh, the places you'll go!

Institution Page: Find information about your institution.

Profile: Make changes to your online persona.

Activity Stream: See up-to-the-minute action for your courses. The first time you open each Ultra course on any day, you'll see course notices with important information.

Courses: Navigate to past, present, and future courses.

Assist: A list of supportive student services the campus offers to help with academic growth.

Calendar: View course events and due dates for your courses.

Messages: View and send messages in your courses.

Grades: Check your grades for all courses.

Tools: Access global functions that are outside of a course such as portfolios or the Content Collection.

Guides and Video Resources




Office 365
Navigate to the Penguin Portal and select Office 365.

  • Email
  • Calendar
  • Word
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Microsoft Stream
  • Whiteboard

Log into Office 365 via the Penguin Portal

  • Storage
  • Collaboration in online docs
  • Share files

Adobe Scan
Download from Google Play or the App Store

Mobile application

  • Take a picture of your documents 
  • Convert to PDF
  • Share via email or other application

Adobe Creative Cloud

  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Adobe InDesign

Blackboard Collaborate
Log into your Blackboard Course.

  • Video conferencing
  • Breakout rooms

Webex Meetings and Teams
Access and download the applications.

Webex Meetings

Webex Teams

  • Video conferencing
  • Collaboration spaces

Microsoft Stream

  • Video streaming
  • Video storage

Virtualized Lab Software For Engineering Students

Virtualized Lab Software General Applications

Access engineering lab software

Access lab software


Campus Resources


 Resch Academic Success Center

  • Tutorial Services
  • Hours: Monday- Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday 8am-4pm
  • Phone Number: 330.941.7253

 Online Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction

 Math Assistance Center

 Online math tutoring services by appointment

 Writing Assistance Center Online 

 Online writing assistance.


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Article ID: 102664
Tue 3/24/20 8:57 AM
Tue 2/6/24 8:49 AM