8 tips for being a successful online learner

asian male lookig at phone with laptop open while sitting at table.

There are many advantages to online courses; they allow you to learn whenever, wherever, and however works best for you. They also can present a challenge too, if it's a new experience for you.

Here are some tips for online learning success to make sure you get the most value out of your next class.

Be flexible

Adjustments are being made by students, peers, staff, and faculty. Being flexible, patient and open to changes will help everyone work together.

Create a structure

Without the structure of classes, you will need to create your own study schedule. Otherwise, procrastination can creep in and motivation can fall.

Be realistic

Be realistic about how much work you are able to accomplish in one day. Don’t overload yourself!

Plan your time

Block out time to review materials from each class; this may mean an increased amount of time for reading assignments or to review lecture slides. Try to block out five one-hour periods for each course per week. Use a calendar (digital or print) to keep track of your assignments.

Set boundaries

Discuss schedules, boundaries and expectations with family or roommates. Allow yourself time to relax and be with others, but make them aware of your new schedule.

Prepare your study space

Set up a dedicated space for studying; choose a space that offers limited distractions. Keep your learning materials handy, and form online study groups to stay connected to peers.

Take part in online discussions

  • Make a “class in session” sign for your door so others will know not to disturb you.
  • Remember to mute your microphone as needed.
  • Think of discussion boards as a chance to share your ideas and show your professor your critical thinking skills.
  • Be professional with your interactions and language.
  • Engage as much as possible!

Ask for help

Be open about problems you are encountering and ask for assistance.

If you are in distress or need help, please connect with Counselling Services by email counselling [at] mohawkcollege.ca or call 905-575-2211 (Monday - Friday).


Have questions or need more support, contact the Learning Support Centre.