Tips for Digital Success

What can I do to succeed with digital tools at GSU?

Whether you’re a new or returning student, this page has key tips to leverage your learning tools and the resources you have as a student to strive for better grades and increase career readiness skills.

Click on the questions below to expand the section and discover more!


Setting Up Your Personal Devices

A vital step in setting up for success is to make sure your personal devices are set-up and stay updated throughout your time at GSU. Many technology concerns can be resolved with running operating system or software updates.


It’s also important to make sure you have reliable internet. If connectivity is problematic at home, keep in mind on campus computer labs, campus library locations, and community libraries as options for alternative locations for completing course work and joining virtual lectures.

  • If you’re concerned about secure public network access, consider using the GSU supported Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Find Your Course Online

iCollege has all the courses that are on your course schedule. Each course on your schedule has a corresponding iCollege course.

Get Microsoft Office Suite for FREE!

The full Microsoft ProPlus Office Suite is now available for FREE to faculty, staff and currently enrolled students at Georgia State. The GSU Microsoft Office Suite page will give you more information on downloading and accessing the software (available for a variety of personal devices).

Other Software

The ‘iCollege & Learning Tools’ page will have information on other software and technology you may be asked to use or that you might find helpful in your classes. Make sure to check it out.

Also recommended is the University-Licensed Software page.


The Syllabus

You’ve probably heard (or will hear) that you should read through your course syllabi. Here are some reasons why and things to look for:

  • Instructor’s preferred contact mode (ex. iCollege mail vs. Office 365 (PantherMail)).
  • Office hours
  • Class calendar – Due dates, Assignments, Tests/Quizes
    • Keep an eye out for conflicts and talk to your instructor ASAP!
  • Attendance requirements and expectations.
  • Grade breakdowns – What each assignment is worth, how the final grades are calculated, etc.
  • The syllabus gives you a great basis to ask questions about the course. Reach out to your instructor for clarity, the earlier the better!

iCollege Content Section

The Content section of an iCollege course is searchable. It is also broken up into modules (sections within the course) which are generally ordered from top to bottom, as you would progress through the course. Using the content section, module to module, can help you stay on track and keep from missing important steps (i.e. a reading to do prior to an assignment).

Academic Integrity

As you move through your course working on assignments and assessments it’s important to keep in mind the integrity of your course work. Georgia State University takes academic integrity very seriously. Learning skills to ensure the integrity of your work will set you up for success in all your employment endeavors.

The Georgia State University Library and your librarians are ready to help with all research and citation information to ensure success.

For more information on academic integrity at GSU we recommend watching the following video.


Announcements – Listen and Be Aware

Inside iCollege you have announcements on your general iCollege home page showing university wide information, as well as announcements in your courses which your instructors can use to make you aware of important course news.

You can adjust your announcement notification settings to ensure you stay on top of notices even without being logged in. Additionally, you can utilize the pulse app to check in on announcements from your mobile device.

Communication Preferences

Regardless of whether you’re talking about instructors or classmates, listening to and communicating regarding contact preferences will help facilitate smoother lines of communication.

  • Use the syllabus to identify your instructors’ preferences for communications (iCollege mail vs PantherMail), as well as their office hours (in-person or virtual).
  • If you have plans to talk with a classmate outside of class, first touch base about how you each communicate best. For instance, which email they prefer for class work, are they comfortable talking on the phone, does meeting online work for them, etc.
  • For group projects determine what way will work best for collaborating on your assignment (ex. sharing files over office 365), and what is the best method for meeting outside of class (in-person, virtually, or a mix), that works best for everyone’s schedules and technology.

Note: if someone expresses concerns or is uncomfortable regarding a particular communication mode, be respectful of that. There could be many reasons why that mode doesn’t work for them.

Virtual Course Discussions

The discussion tool in iCollege found under the Assessment menu is a valuable tool for virtual class discussions and sharing ideas throughout the course. Here are some tips for thoughtful participation in iCollege discussions:

  • Start your discussion post(s) early.
  • Check back frequently for new posts/comments.
  • Actively respond and interact with your classmates.

For more information on your communication tools look to the iCollege & Learning Tools page under the communication section.

Communicating Professionally - Linkedin Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a great resource with a VAST library of courses and videos to help with a variety of professional activities, such as writing emails.

Example Courses to Consider:


Schedules, Calendars, and Check-lists Oh My!

  • Create and follow a learning plan and schedule time for studying and logging into iCollege by blocking off time each week for each course (in-person, online, and hybrid).
    • Scheduling Best Practice: For every credit hour listed for the course, you should spend an average of 2 hours of time outside of class on course assignments and content.
    • Online Courses Note: Online courses take special planning/consideration. Watch the video below for tips on success in your online courses.

  • Review the syllabus for course timeline and deadline information. Make sure to transfer those deadlines to your Outlook Calendar and/or any other calendar/planner tools you use.
    • Note: Some instructors may have things set to populate your iCollege calendar with due dates and information linking to the assignment. You can use your calendar in iCollege, subscribe to the calendar , or follow iCollege calendar events through the Pulse App.
  • Create project check-lists to help make sure project and assignment elements are completed. Microsoft OneNote is a great tool for creating check-lists and organizing digital notes.

For more information on building a solid schedule and plan for success, reach out to the student success office and their Academic Coaches.


In developing your schedule make sure to reserve time for you. Time to decompress and re-set. Time for supporting and maintaining your personal/social relationships. This time is vital to your continued success at Georgia State University.

Linkedin Learning

LinkedIn Learning has resources and courses with different strategies surrounding time management. We encourage you to take a look and find strategies that will work well with your work/study style.


Many students, from all backgrounds, feel like they don’t have the skills or knowledge of computers they feel they “should”. This is ok, and GSU is here to help with resources to build up your comfort level with computers and make you that much more confident heading to the workplace.

Linkedin Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a great resource with a VAST library of courses and videos to help with many software you might encounter (ex. the Microsoft Suite of tools) from beginner level to advanced.

One we recommend is “Working with Computers and Devices”, a course that will give you a good grounding to feel more confident over all in how you use both your personal machines and those across the campuses.

DLL Tech Training

The Digital Learners to Leaders program offers a wide variety of FREE technology, software, and professional development workshops to all Georgia State students, staff and faculty. Some workshops they offer include, but are not limited to:

For a complete list of offerings, please go to


Help Desk

You can reach out to our Technology Service Desk to get help with iCollege or other technology needs. Visit for information about resetting your password, accessing how-to documentation, and submitting a help ticket.
Website: | Phone: 404-413-HELP (4357) | Email: [email protected]

Tips For Requesting Help

Phoning help desk – This is a good way to reach out in the case of immediate concerns and situations where you can actively trouble shoot the situation with the technologist you’re speaking with.

Emailing – This is a great way to interface with the help desk and provide a full picture of what is happening. Keep in mind the following when emailing your request:

  • DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS – The clearer you are, the quicker questions can be answered.
    • Does the situation effect a specific course? Then you’ll want to list course name, number, section, and instructor.
    • What browser are you working on? (Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
    • What kind of device? (Mac, PC, Chrome Book, etc.)
  • Screen shots are a huge help! – Especially regarding error messages or helping show what you’re seeing. People often use different terms, so the screen shots add clarity.
  • CCing your Instructor – If the situation is affecting the timely completion of an assignment, discussion, quiz, or other activity in your course ccing your instructor does 2 things:
    1. Informs the instructor there is a problem happening (you may not be alone).
    2. Shows that you are being pro-active to resolve matters.
  • In Person Help

    The GSU CATLABS (available across campuses) can help with answering questions in person. Here are some examples of support tasks they can help with.

    Using Step-By-Step Help Documentation

    Our self-service knowledge base repository has help documentation for university services and software. In fact, many tool related sites and materials across GSU web pages will link to the knowledge base.
    Knowledge Base – When searching, use a variety of key words until you find the article you need.