6 Tips On How To Effectively Study Online

In years gone by, obtaining your diploma or degree meant attending physical classes and lectures on-campus. Now, thanks to advancements in technology and the current pandemic, there has been a positive global shift toward an online learning model.

Online learning has many benefits. The most obvious? Flexibility. Students can learn at their own pace and easily balance their studies with outside life commitments.

Studying online can present some unique challenges, however. It’s common for online students to struggle with things like time management and motivation. But, with the right preparation and some useful online study tips, online learning can be extremely rewarding and a great alternative to a traditional class setting.

Here are some tips to help you to be successful in online learning and get the most out of your online studies:

Tip 1: Have a dedicated study space

Studying from home has a lot of benefits (such as sitting all day in your pj’s!) but it can come with some distractions. To avoid being distracted when studying, it’s helpful to set up your own study space where you cannot be disturbed.

Even if you don’t have a study or spare room, you can opt for a quiet space away from the TV or noisy areas of the house. Since you’re not attending a physical classroom, you need to find ways to mimic a classroom setting at home. This helps you to stay focused and distraction-free. Another benefit of having a dedicated study space is that it puts you into a study mindset.

Tip 2: Troubleshoot any technical issues

From internet connection issues to outdated software, there are potential technical issues to be had when you’re studying online. The best way to avoid being disconnected during live teaching and accidentally erasing documents is to check all technical requirements before commencing your online studies.

Some helpful tips to do this include:

  • Investing in a reliable laptop or computer
  • Checking your home wifi and updating the modem or buying a signal booster if the connection is unreliable
  • Ensure your operating system and software is up-to-date
  • Downloading or purchasing any necessary apps, platforms or eLearning tools that may be required for your course
  • Using a Cloud-based backup system to avoid losing important documents
  • Purchasing an external webcam if your course consists of virtual classes

Following the above steps will ensure that your online learning will go smoothly without any technical glitches.

Tip 3: Create a routine

The flexibility of having your own schedule is one of the biggest benefits of online learning. Yet this can make time management more difficult. When attending physical classes, you have a clear structure to your day, since you are given a timetable with your class times and attendance requirements. When studying online, you need to make time each day to attend your online classes and complete course material, as physical attendance is not required.

In order to stick to and meet your class requirements, try creating a daily routine. Depending on your outside obligations, you may want to stick to a traditional 9 am-3 pm timetable with small breaks in between. Do what works for you. A helpful tip is to use a daily and weekly planner to schedule your study time, online classes, exams, due dates, breaks and outside commitments so that you can have some routine and structure to your day. This will help you improve your time management skills, and prevent you from accidentally missing due dates or having to cram before a test.

Tip 4: Stay motivated

Online learning is great for self-starters and those who love to study at their own pace. But it can be a challenge since you also need to be self-motivated.

When you’re not having to make the commute to school, it can be really easy to lack the motivation to get up and into your study while at home.

A helpful way to stay motivated when online learning is to revisit your goals. What made you take this course in the first place? What are you hoping to achieve or get from your studies?

It can be a good idea to create a vision board or a list of goals to look at whenever you’re lacking the motivation to get into your coursework.

Tip 5: Actively participate

Online learning is great since all your course material is right there in one place. Yet to gain the most out of your online studies, you should make the effort to actively participate in online discussions and engage with fellow classmates.

Get a feel for your course’s online dashboard and browse the online discussion board. Initiate conversations about your coursework or respond to those seeking help or further insight into a study question. This can be a great way to collaborate with your peers and feel more involved in the class.

When it comes to video classes, try to leave your camera and microphone on and know that your instructor is likely just as nervous as you!

Tip 6: Create a study group/support network

A great benefit to online learning is the support offered. You’ll find that your online course will come with professional contacts, resources, chat rooms and social media groups where you can get assistance with your course.

Your tutor or lecturer will provide a way to contact them for help or guidance, and you can also engage in online discussions to chat with and help other students.

If you find having a study partner helps you, you can ask students in your online forum if they’d like to meet up in a private chat group or via Skype for a weekly study group session.

Flexible learning options

Online learning provides the ultimate flexibility for students. While studying online has its challenges, it’s extremely rewarding and can accommodate a range of lifestyles. An online course will give you the same knowledge and accreditation as a traditional in-person course. The only difference is that you’ll be able to study at your own pace from wherever, whenever!

If online learning interests you, check out our ICI Courses to find a course that fits your needs and goals.

Alternatively, contact us today so that one of our Student Admission Advisor’s can help you with any questions you might have about the enrollment process.

Online, career focused education that suits your lifestyle.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.