Listen to me. I want to be LOUD and CLEAR. If you do not communicate with the instructors of your online classes you are giving your dreams of good grades the kiss of death.
Really, it's not so difficult. Sure, you might need to log into your class and use your class email system, which is far more tedious than hanging a left at Gmail and shooting off a message. BUT if that's what you gotta do, do it!
What are you so afraid of? Your professor knows you are probably taking this class over the internet because you have a life! So if your best friend's wedding is an all week affair and you know you won't be able to skip out on advise sessions and mani/pedi's to do your discussion board posts, communicate this to your prof! They will more than likely understand and extend your deadline. Magical words, right? Well they can come true, if you communicate.
The worst thing that can happen is for you to miss a deadline, feel bad about it and not email your teacher and then they just assume that you don't care about the class and your grade plummets downward. You have a way higher chance of working out a deal if you just let them in on what's going on.
I say this because I did not follow this sage advice and now I'm paying for it. Sigh...
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Poole through flickr Creative Commons.