"Many times people don't read ahead to see what's next, so what they end up doing is replicating work that they've already done," she says.
And once you know when an assignment is due, don't wait until the day before to start working on it.
[Avoid these big mistakes online students make.]
"If you have class, and you know it's due Tuesday night, well, don't make Monday night your night that you're going to finish your homework," Robinson Grochett says. "Sunday is a great day to say, 'I'm gonna go ahead and knock it out.'"
4. Speak up: If you struggle or fall behind, don't stay silent.
"Students are always hesitant to ask for help," says Popovich, with ASU Online. "They start to drown and they take drastic measures, or they don't take measures at all. Either way, they end up making a mistake."
Instructors may offer wiggle room with deadlines or extra credit if a situation warrants it, and most online programs have teams of counselors and advisers to help you along the way—but students need to be proactive, Popovich says.
Even if the course seems like a total loss, Popovich says there is someone who can help.
"We don't want them to fail miserably. There's always a middle ground," she says. "Let's rescue what we can, and then move forward from here."
Searching for an online program? Get our complete rankings of Top Online Education Programs.