Taking an online course this semester? Prepare to tackle it with these five tips!

All set to learn! (CC0 image via Unsplash)
All set to learn! (CC0 image via Unsplash)

Online classes definitely have some advantages: you can attend class anywhere, there’s no commute to school, and you can often write papers or take tests at times convenient to you.  Studying for online classes can be tricky, however, since the normal pattern of in-classroom learning is nonexistent.

Here are some tips to help you study more efficiently and effectively:

1.  Create a routine. Even though you can login at any time, the best way for you to make sure you complete all your given tasks is to decide what day and time you will do your work, and always do it then (say, every Thursday at 6:00 pm).  Soon, it will be a habit.

2.  Remove all distractions when you’re logged into class (Watkins, 2004). Your learning time is valuable, and you should devote all your attention to it.

3.  Don’t procrastinate! Technology can be fickle, and you don’t want to take the chance that your internet connection will suddenly stop working 5 minutes before your final paper is due, and that you’ll be unable to hand it in before the submission window closes (conveniently enough, this tip also works for traditional courses!)

4.  If your course has discussion boards, make sure you check them often (York College, 2014). These are a great way to work out problems with your fellow classmates and get feedback from your professor.  By reading others’ insights into the material, you may also learn things you might not have thought of on your own.

5.  Have all your resources in one place and ready to go. Prepare a set of folders (real or virtual) with all the materials you will need for your assignments (York College, 2014).  Being organized, even if it takes some time to set up at first, will save you tons of time in the long run.

Online courses can be a great way to learn.  If you have a solid set of study skills in place, you will have a much greater chance of success in them. See all online courses offered by Touro for Fall 2014, plus the student handbook for online classes.



Watkins, R. (2004). E-learning study skills and strategies. Distance Learning, 1(3), 24-26. Retrieved from http://home.gwu.edu/~rwatkins/articles/DLmag1-3.pdf

York College. (2014). Study skills needed for success in online or hybrid courses. Retrieved from http://www.york.cuny.edu/it/acet/online-hybrid-course-support/study-skills-needed-for-success-in-online-or-hybrid-courses

Contributed by: Carrie Levinson, Librarian, Lander College for Women

One thought on “Taking an online course this semester? Prepare to tackle it with these five tips!

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