5 Tips for Online Student Learning Success

Image of a person using a laptop

1. Have a schedule and manage your time wisely.

  • Keep a semester and a weekly calendar. On the first day of class, read the course syllabus and enter all due dates in your calendar, along with reminders for the due dates.
  • Commit to studying or participating in your online class for at least three hours per week for every one credit hour the course is worth.
  • Prioritize your work. What due dates are coming up first? What information is the most important for you to learn? What assignments are worth the most points? Make a smart decision about how to best spend your time.

2. Stay organized and be thorough.

  • Have a designated study space that is free of distractions so you can focus on your work.
  • Prepare as if you have to teach the information you are learning. Organize information by creating charts, outlines, study guides, flashcards, concept maps and chapter maps. Create practice exams to evaluate your mastery of the material.
  • Use smart test-taking strategies. Before a quiz or exam, write down formulas or other information you may need. Survey the exam before starting and budget your time. Begin with the easiest test questions and work your way to the harder ones. Expect memory blocks. Often the information will come back to you if you move on to other questions.

3. Remain engaged throughout the whole course.

  • Preview and review for every lesson, attend in person/virtual class sessions and take active notes.
  • Analyze all returned quizzes and tests as well as any instructor feedback and develop a plan for improvement.
  • Make use of office hours on a regular basis and ask questions of instructors or peers if needed.

4. Take care of yourself.

  • Look inward for your motivation. Remembering the goal you are working toward will help you as you work through the challenges of being a student.
  • Stay healthy by getting adequate rest, nutrition and exercise. Use positive self-talk to reduce anxiety. Schedule time to take care of yourself and spend time with your friends and family.
  • Keep a growth mindset. Your success has as much to do with your effort as it has to do with your ability. Monitor your self-talk and stay positive.

5. Know where to turn for help.

Students working on laptops

Want to learn more about the skills you need to be a great online student?