Education & Admissions

How to be successful at online learning: 8 strategies and tips for learning online

By Jeff Chen | Sep 24, 2019
Education & Admissions| Achievers Network

Online learning is a skill and you need to learn it to do well. Less than 5% of people who take a course online actually finish it, so it’s important you have some good strategies for success.

Here are most important 8 tips for online learning that I’ve learned from finishing quite a few classes:

1. Find a friend to do it with you and commit to weekly study sessions.

Better yet, find 3–4 friends and form a study group. Online learning is extremely lonely and when you get stuck you are really stuck — having friends to work through problems together is critical. I’ve also found study buddies remotely and used chat and video chat instead of real person meetings.

2. Start with just 1 class, and give yourself a deadline to finish.

Online learning is not particularly harder than classroom learning, it’s just different. You need to be more self-disciplined, but you can go at your own pace. The first class is the hardest because you need to learn to learn online and also learn the material. So start with 1 class and finish it before moving on.

3. Establish a routine study schedule.

Block out your most productive 2–3 hours Monday through Friday for classwork. You’ll have to watch lectures, read books, do homework. It’s not realistic to think that you can just put it off to the weekend because you may hit a block or be tired from working all week. Treat it like a job and don’t schedule stuff on top of it ever (no appointments, happy hours, gym, FaceTime, etc). When in doubt, ask yourself if you would schedule that ‘event’ you want to go to during your day job. Engineering also requires deep thought and it takes a while get into it, so 3 hour blocks work well. For me this was 6–9am.

4. Turn off your phone and other distractors.