Sacred Heart Faculty Shares Online Learning Strategies

Sacred Heart Faculty Shares Online Learning Strategies

Online learners should establish a routine, take breaks and communicate with peers and instructors

Online classes can be difficult, and students of all ages can easily become distracted or succumb to procrastination. Three Sacred Heart University experts—Antoinette Bruciati, associate professor and faculty chair in the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; Steven Michels, associate provost; and Sean Heffron, executive director of student success—are offering strategies and tips to help students dodge those traps.

Routine and Schedule


Find a place to work where there are no distractions, says Bruciati. She encourages students to silence their phones and televisions so they can focus on what they need to accomplish. She suggests they tell family and friends not to disturb them during this time.

Create a Plan

Create a study plan by using a calendar to organize class readings, assignments and study time. Set aside a certain number of hours per day or week and stick to the schedule to avoid falling behind, Bruciati says.

Divide & Conquer

Divide lessons into manageable segments and tasks. For example, a one-hour video lecture can be divided into three 20-minute segments, says Bruciati. Students can write down the stop time from the video player and resume the lecture from the same spot later on.

Study Groups

Form a study group with two or three classmates. Group study sessions through any video teleconferencing platform can be an excellent way to avoid academic and social isolation. Select a group leader who can keep everyone focused and on task.

Countering Common Misconceptions


Communicate more with faculty; online learning does not mean distance from professors, Heffron says. In fact, students should speak with professors more often, since they are not in the physical classroom together. They also should make sure to engage with their classmates. They should be texting and chatting with a handful of students from the class so they can feel part of a learning community, he says

Take a Break

Taking breaks and getting plenty of rest are good ways for online students to stay healthy, Bruciati says. They also can avoid eyestrain from computer use by reducing the amount of ambient light in the room: avoid the use of fluorescent lighting; partially close curtains, shades or blinds; and position computers so windows in the room are off to the side. Adjusting the computer display’s brightness and increasing the text size on the screen also helps reduce eyestrain. Additionally, students should develop the habit of looking away from the computer monitor approximately every 20 minutes.

Learning Online Can be Better

Learning online can be better than classroom lessons, according to research that shows a well-designed online course is just as effective or even more effective than a traditional class setting. “In terms of comparing online learning to on-ground learning, online learning—when done right—can far surpass in-person learning in many areas,” Heffron says.

“Humans are social creatures, so of course young men and women prefer sitting in a classroom and learning together if they can,” Heffron says. “However, when it comes to the learning itself, assessments and examinations designed for online courses engage students in different but more flexible ways.” The world is moving to a remote working environment—especially in times like this—and students who have demonstrated success in working remotely will have an advantage when they look for a job, he adds.

Support & Resources


Frustration happens, and new online learners also can feel anxious or overwhelmed the first time they access their courses, Bruciati says. Students must take some time to become comfortable in the online environment and practice using new technology before beginning lessons. “Students should not hesitate to contact the instructor when they need academic support or assignment clarification,” Bruciati says. “Instructors are eager to help their students succeed. No question is too insignificant to ask.”

Students should understand that frustration is normal, especially considering this global health crisis, says Michels. “It’s a challenging time to be focused and clear-headed. While feeling overwhelmed is not a good sensation, feeling challenged is part of the process. It means that you’re learning something.”

Support at SHU

There is support at SHU for students taking online courses, such as tutorials and other resources available through SHU’s student success center, Heffron says. Success coordinators will work with students one-on-one to teach skills and help organize and manage the workload. “We have tutors for almost every subject who can meet with students face-to-face through the computer. We also offer an online writing lab where students can send papers to be reviewed before submitting them for grades,” he says.

Avoid Technical Issues

Save Your Work

Back up assignments by saving them on a USB drive or external hard drive. Bruciati also recommends uploading assignments to the cloud or emailing them to a school or personal account. Remember to save documents every 10 to 15 minutes while working them. Don’t risk losing them as the result of a computer crash, she says.

Don’t Procrastinate

Submit assignments early to avoid stress. Technical difficulties or unexpected emergencies can occur at any time, and some teachers deduct points when students submit assignments after the due date, Bruciati advises.

Registration Open: Summer & Fall 2020 Classes

The Summer (2) 2020 (20/SU2) and Fall 2020 (20/FA) Registration Period for Luxembourg Graduate Business programs is now open.

Important Information

  • Students are responsible for having any registration blocks cleared before they may register.
  • Summer & Fall 2020 Registration Deadline: June 19, 2020
  • The registration form for the Summer (2) 2020 (20/SU2) and Fall 2020 (20/FA) terms here: → Registration Form.

    Registration forms are posted and available to students in the Current Students section of the SHU Luxembourg website ( → Registration Form) and the Luxembourg MBA Blackboard organization (ORG_LXMBA).
  • In order to register for the Summer & Fall 2020 terms students must complete and return a registration form via SHU Email. Email this registration form (via SHU Email) to Sacred Heart University ( & by JUNE 19, 2020.

    To register for a course, students must complete and return a signed registration form for the current academic year and the academic term they intend to register for. Completed and signed registration forms must be returned to the Sacred Heart University Luxembourg Office Manager(s) by the indicated deadline.
  • Students WILL NOT be considered registered for a course without returning a registration form containing both STUDENT ID NUMBER AND SIGNATURE.
  • Exact course dates and times are available at under the Current Students section (Class Location & Times)
    • Students must double check the precise dates and times at the beginning of the term. All dates are subject to change.
    • It is the sole responsibility of the student to plan their schedule according to the arrangement of class dates and times published on the SHU website.
    • Missing one class because a student has registered for another class running at the same time IS NOT considered an “excused absence”.
    • The administration schedules courses to best accommodate a majority of students as well as the individual, personal and professional schedules of the instructors.
  • Please read through the Registration Policies & Procedures thoroughly to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the Add/Drop period and Withdrawal protocol.
  • You can view and monitor your progress toward your degree goals/completion by visiting Student Planning & Advising and viewing your Progress Report. “Progress” is a report, which shows how the courses a student has taken apply toward degree requirements, as well as the remaining credits needed to complete your degree requirements.

    Click Here for Understanding Student Progress in Student Planning and Advising

Please do not hesitate to contact our offices should you have any questions.

For help planning your academic schedule, and to make sure you’re on track to graduate/complete your degree requirements by your preferred graduation date, please contact Antoine Rech (

***Students enrolled in the MBA with Internship program will be automatically enrolled in the required courses. For Elective course selection, please contact Antoine Rech ( or +352 22 76 13 31).***

IMPORTANT NOTE: All course communication with instructors will be strictly through your SHU EMAIL ADDRESS.

It is the student’s responsibility to check their SHU email address regularly. Especially if they are enrolled in a course.

Blockchain & Big Data/Crypto Currencies: APR 2 – JUN 18

Open Enrollment Course


APR 2 – JUN 18


Time commitment
per week


1 class
per week




YOU choose the
learning environment

that works best for YOU!

What You Will Learn

This course aims at providing a hands-on introduction to blockchain, distributed ledger and crypto-currencies. The course will address three major topics:

  1. Use cases for blockchain technologies in supply chain management and payment systems as well as tokenization of assets.
  2. An in-depth look at how blockchain technology is implemented using different programming frameworks (Ethereum and Hyperledger).
  3. The design of payment architectures based on blockchain.
    More specifically, the class will focus on the Interledger protocol developed by Ripple as a key element to achieve global inter-operability.

Key Benefits

  • Understand the opportunities, but also the limits of blockchain technology
  • Expertise in writing simple blockchain applications using the Ethereum platform
  • Understand the basic theory on consensus protocols
  • Develop basic monitoring tools for other blockchains (Ripple)
  • Understand the economic issues and incentives of a decentralized application
  • Governance approaches for blockchain based applications
  • Advanced topics: Ripple Interledger protocol, Tezos governance model

Course Features

  • A practical and pragmatic approach to blockchain based technology.
  • Team Project
    Students will be lead to understand the key technology by working in teams on a semester long project (12 weeks). The project will aim at simulating a real-life scenario of a blockchain based start-up. Each team will identify a performance gap or strategic opportunity facing the start-up organization, and then build a comprehensive, technological strategy and implementation plan to address it, and showcase their findings in final pitch presentation. Faculty will be available throughout the course to provide feedback and advice.
  • Participants learn to recognize how they can use material in the context of their own organization and apply concepts in their professional environment.
  • A diverse set of perspectives across industries, professional experiences, and academic disciplines: students come from a variety of backgrounds and companies, ensuring exposure to a broad range of learning experiences.
  • This courses is academically accredited at the graduate level.
  • Credits earned may be applied toward the MBA Degree.

Who Should Attend?

  • Managers who want to refine their skills in strategic data management and fact-based decision-making
  • Individuals building and launching data science teams
  • Professionals in marketing, supply chain, information technology, human resources, talent management, product development, operations, and other strategy-related functions

Course Instructor

Radu State, Adjunct Professor of Blockchain & Big Data/Cryptocurrencies, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg