Tips for Being an Online Learner

You have no doubt mastered a lot of skills over the years to be a successful learner, but learning online can be a little different. A successful online learner is one that is active and engaged in the process. Our lives away from campus include family and other obligations that you may not usually have to deal with during the semester. To be a successful online learner, we must make learning a part of our lives while balancing our other priorities. Let's take a look at some of the steps you can take to achieve a proper school-life balance.

Manage Your Time

The rule of thumb is that for every hour you spend in the classroom, you will spend two to three hours working outside the class on reading, studying, and assignments. This time commitment is the same, whether you are taking classes online or face-to-face. Time management becomes critical to make this possible. Here are some tips to help you manage your time:

  • Set goals and prioritize. What is most important to you right now? Having a goal to complete a class or get your degree will make you much more motivated to see it to completion.
  • Check what your instructor has planned for the week and then add those tasks to your schedule. Planning times to work will help you stay on course for the next week of class.
  • Keep a regular schedule: Set aside time in your day to work on your classes. It's also a good idea to keep a daily schedule that closely matches what you would do if you were on campus.
  • Break larger tasks into smaller ones. A project or large paper can seem overwhelming if you try to tackle it all at once. It's much easier to complete the assignment in little chunks. Setting smaller goals and deadlines for yourself will make it more manageable. It will also help relieve stress and anxiety.

Create a Space to Learn

You probably already have a place where you study when you're on campus, but what about when you're away. Learning online is going to take some discipline, and finding the right place is going to be necessary. You're going to need an area that has internet access, but beyond that, you'll also want to find a place with few distractions. Here are some things to help you create your own learning space:

  • Find a place where you can focus. A place that is quiet and has room for your computer, books, and other learning tools is going to be ideal. Avoid being in the vicinity of high-traffic areas and shared spaces if possible.
  • Let others know when you're working. You may need to negotiate with the people around you for some quiet times when you need to focus.
  • If you're participating in a video conference, keep the background in mind. The area behind you and the noises around you are going to be captured by your webcam or microphone. Make sure you keep that in mind before you share it with the rest of the class.

Don't Check Out

Make sure you stay engaged even while you're away from campus. Online learning is different. What's out of sight can often be out of mind. Although you aren't coming to a physical classroom every day, you need to avoid checking out entirely. Here are some ways to keep this from being an extended Spring Break:

  • Check Canvas. Your instructors are going to be posting materials on Canvas and using things like the announcement tool to communicate with you. Log in every day and see what's new.
  • Check Your Email. Another channel of communication is going to be your email. Messages from outside of class are also going to be essential for you to read regularly.
  • Ask questions. If you don't understand something, don't sit in silence. Ask! You may need to send an email to your instructor or a classmate. For technical problems, make sure you contact ITS. Just don't wait!
  • Don't procrastinate! It can be effortless to delay work when you're not physically going to class. Keep up with what's posted in Canvas every day so that you don't fall behind.



Article ID: 101093
Thu 3/12/20 11:04 PM
Fri 3/20/20 1:47 PM