Essential Strategies to Succeed
with Online Learning from Home

See also: Getting Organised for Study

Online learning has grown a lot recently. Taking classes online is flexible and convenient for many students. However, doing well in online classes takes dedication and adjustment. Students need to adapt their learning skills and mindset to thrive in remote learning.

Making the transition from face-to-face learning that most people are used to can be hard without the right tactics. In this article, we share some tips to help students excel in taking online courses. These techniques will help you stay driven and focused, and also enable you to cultivate good online learning habits.

Some may be worried about in-person accountability that is an important factor in academic studies, but online studies like the ABSN online programs for example, are designed and delivered for learners to employ appropriate methods of learning to be able to achieve the same outcomes as on-campus or in-person programs.

Male hands and equipment needed for online learning.

Managing Time Well

Managing time effectively is key for succeeding with online classes. Without set class times, it's easy to procrastinate or fall behind. But you can develop a schedule and structure that works well for you.

Start by making a weekly schedule that mirrors an in-person timetable. Map out study sessions, goals for finishing assignments, and virtual class meetings. Treat this schedule like a real appointment. Planning and sticking to routines boost productivity and discipline.

Limit distractions and avoid multitasking, as this hurts retention. Instead, focus on one task until you complete it. Break big projects into small chunks. Use timers to stay focused by taking scheduled breaks to recharge.

To plan your weekly schedule well, ask yourself:

  • Do I set aside specific times each week for each online class?

  • Do I treat study sessions like real appointments and follow the schedule?

  • When are my most productive times of the day to do coursework?

  • When do I tend to procrastinate or get distracted?

  • How can I minimise distractions during planned study times?

  • How often should I get breaks when working online?

Build Your Self-Motivation

Self-motivation is key for online learners without in-person accountability. To stay driven:

  • Set specific learning goals and tasks for each study session.

  • Track progress against milestones. This gives a sense of momentum.

  • Celebrate small successes before moving forward. Don't just rush through.

  • Listen to upbeat music or podcasts while working to boost your energy - if that works for you.

  • If possible, study alongside classmates virtually.

  • Treat yourself after finishing assignments to stay positive.

  • Connect learning to personal interests and goals. Passion drives resilience.

  • View online education as a growth opportunity.

Students can build strong self-motivation by being clear about their intention, tracking progress, and staying true to the purpose for their taking the classes in the first place.

Change Your Environment

Imagine having to stay in one room for all classes. This leads to boredom and broken focus. Changing locations can keep you on track. At planned times, study from a cafe or library. This will boost your motivation.

Improve Your Tech Skills

Mastering online platforms and tech tools is helpful for remote learners. As an online student, you'll have to do most things virtually. Digital whiteboards replace real ones. Note-taking apps replace pens and paper. Learning institutions use technology to monitor attendance and communication, so knowing how to navigate tech tools can be a roadblock.

If unsure where to start, use this checklist of the basic skills online students need:

  • Be skilled with learning platforms like Canvas, Blackboard, etc.

  • Know how to troubleshoot basic tech issues independently.

  • Be familiar with video conferencing tools like Zoom, Webex, etc.

  • Have skills with time management and productivity apps.

  • Know online collaboration tools like Slack, Trello, and Google Docs.

  • Be able to submit assignments and use class portals.

  • Access and use library e-resources.

  • Use online whiteboards and shared editing tools.

  • Take digital notes using apps and digital methods.

  • Understand assistive software like text-to-speech.

  • Have file management and organisation skills.

Perfect Your Communication Skills

Communication abilities are just as critical remotely as in person. Set expectations early by contacting instructors about preferred methods and response times. Establish routines for checking messages daily.

Treat online messages professionally like in-class conversations. Be clear and concise. Set email reminders to follow up when needed. For quick questions, use proper etiquette on video calls.

Actively participate in virtual discussions. Make use of instructor office hours. Introduce yourself first if you are unknown. Developing connections shows engagement. Communicate any needs or accommodations requiring support. Don't rely solely on classmates. Learn to advocate for yourself. With practice, students can master online communication and build instructor/peer rapport.

Virtual classes also require etiquette. For quick questions, email may be better than calling. If video chatting, dress appropriately. Speak clearly. Also remember to turn off your microphone when not speaking. It minimises background noise. Actively join discussions by posting thoughtful responses and building on others' comments. Show professionalism and build good relationships with polite, engaging communication online.

Improve Your Writing

Strong writing is key for online learners. Written communication replaces in-person feedback. Treat virtual writing like formal published work. Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Avoid informal language.

Read assignments thoroughly and follow directions. This shows engagement. Outline before drafting, for clarity. Use writing and grammar checkers to self-edit. Then, get peer reviews or online tutoring for feedback. Allow time for revisions based on notes. Cite sources properly to avoid accidental plagiarism. Learn citation management software. It helps many students.

Before turning in assignments:

  • Proofread for errors.

  • Review prompts/rubrics.

  • Check page length and formatting.

  • Confirm citations are formatted correctly.

  • Review for consistent style.

  • Read aloud to check the flow.

  • Verify submission method.

  • Confirm receipt and posting.

  • Keep a copy before submitting.

  • Follow up if there are any concerns.

  • Reflect and analyse to improve next time.

By continually refining their writing skills, students can master academic writing from home.

Succeeding with Online Classes

Succeeding with online classes requires effort and adjustments by students. This requires applying the right strategies that can make your studies more effective. Be deliberate in planning schedules, minimizing distractions, tracking progress, and setting goals.

Optimize your study environment, master technology, communicate professionally, and refine your writing skills. Students can overcome the common challenges of online education through commitment and dedication to their study goals. Self directed learning needs constant self development and discipline.

In essence, achieving success with academic or other forms of studies online is as possible as studying in in-person programs.