What Are Tips and Tricks for Learning Online?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, over five million students took online courses in Fall of 2013. Since then, the trend of online learning has continued to rise. This article details some tips and tricks for learning online, like managing your time well and fully participating in the class.

Tips and Tricks for Learning Online

Online learning is great for convenience and flexibility, but convenient does not mean easy. Students need to apply themselves just as much as they would on campus. If you are thinking about enrolling in an online course, you can benefit from these tips and tricks that will help you succeed in online education.

Time Management

While most online college programs allow for flexibility, you should not believe that this means less time should be devoted to each course. Students should expect to devote the same amount of time as they would for an in-person class. A good tip for those who are learning online is to devote 2-3 hours weekly per credit. For example, a 4-credit course should be allotted 8-12 hours per week.

Self-Discipline and Self-Motivation

Developing self-discipline is one of the keys to successful online learning. Adhere to a strict schedule for study time and logging onto classes. Although online learning allows students to work at any time of day, due dates (and times) still apply. One trick to online learning is to be able to work independently. It also helps to understand at what time of day an assignment is due, since there is no set class period. Many professers set the due time to 11:59pm on the due date, but this is not always the case and should not be assumed.


Another trick for online learning is to avoid being merely a bystander. Keep the lines of communication open with fellow students and the instructor. 'Speak up' during online classes and in any student chat rooms or forums associated with your courses. Relay what you have learned to other students to help those who might be confused or lagging behind. You may also want to develop online study groups with other students in your class.

Since you will not have the benefit of speaking to an instructor face-to-face, an important trick for online learning is to seek frequent feedback from your instructors. Ask questions of both your instructor and other students. Strong participation helps students of online classes feel more connected with each other, and it creates a stronger mutual learning environment.

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