How to be a Successful Online Learner (Study Tips Included)

Online education, when done right, is no easier than education provided in a brick and mortar building. However, to be a successful online learner requires a certain skill set. For some, these skills are innate. For others, they may need to be learned and practiced.

Successful online students are motivated, proactive, committed, determined and persistent. In a classroom on-campus, teachers and classmates provide support and motivation to one another. While many online programs offer chat rooms and student support resources; it’s up to the individual student to sit down, focus and stay motivated to study and complete assignments on time. If self-motivation is not a skill that comes naturally to you, perhaps you should look for courses that offer more structure – such as blended, or instructor-directed online courses.

Successful online students are disciplined, organized, focused, and able to create and stick to set schedules. One of the key benefits of taking online courses is the flexibility to complete assignments on your own schedule. However, this type of learning requires tremendous discipline as most, if not all, of your study time will be independent. Students need to be organized and skilled at managing their time, prioritizing tasks and setting deadlines for their work.  If you suffer from procrastination or consider yourself somewhat disorganized, you will need to learn new habits to help you be most successful in your online course.   

Successful online students are independent, self-sufficient, and comfortable being alone during their course time. As mentioned, online learning is also referred to as “Distance” learning. Although students may have virtual contact with mentors, instructors or other students, there will be much time spent alone online and this may wear on a student psychologically. If you know that you need group settings or a more social learning environment, look for courses that incorporate in-class group work and interaction.  You may also look for extracurricular groups or study groups to help foster that sense of human connection.

We’ve put together some tips to help you be a successful online learner. Implement some, or all, of the tips in this video and put your best foot forward this school year!



Ed4Career is committed to student success! We offer an online student center as well as career coaching resources to our students through our Student Services Department. Discover the Ed4Online difference today!