Tips For Online Learning


Online learning is a very different experience from face-to-face learning in the classroom. Research shows that online learners perform better when they have acquired specific online learning skills such as how to plan your study time, how to write more communicatively when responding to assignment questions, and how to choose the most appropriate language when discussing a topic in an online discussion forum. Those who simply plunge into online learning without some exposure to the requisite skills do not perform as well.







To succeed in your online courses you need to set aside specific times for study during the week. Research shows that learners who study based on a timetable score higher in assignments and examinations. Such learners also contribute actively during tutorials and online discussion.

To plan your study time, draw up a timetable of all the things you normally do and those you should do (e.g., studying). Fill in the times of the day, starting with the time you get up until the time you go to bed. Choose a free half-hour or hour each day when you can read and write online. You may have to reorganize your responsibilities to find time for online study.

To make good use of the timetable, bear the following in mind:

  • Clarify your priorities for the day.
  • Group together activities that are related.
  • Divide tasks into workable steps.
  • Focus on one thing at a time.
  • Finish a given task fully.
  • Be motivated and willing to learn.


To help you improve motivation for your studies, especially whenever you feel that the work is too difficult or too much, try the following strategies:

  • Imagine yourself succeeding, passing your examination, and getting congratulated by family and friends.
  • Think of the pride you will feel when you can add letters of the qualification you have obtained after your name (e.g., Kago Bome, B.A.).
  • Find a space at home or at work where you can study without disturbance.
  • Stick to your timetable, and study every day.


Good time management reduces stress considerably. Planning your study time will help you complete and succeed in your online course.

> Find more tips on time management in the Commonwealth of Learning’s Communication and Study Skills for Distance Education Students






In online learning, written assignments are common. These may be short answers or long essays. Both require that you to develop writing skills that will attract good grades and help you complete the course online.

Writing can be difficult. In a face-to-face conversation, you can use signs and gestures to make a point when words fail. In contrast, writing has to be exact if communication is to be effective. Consider the following when developing your writing skills:


  • Choose the most right word to avoid any ambiguity.
  • Writing is strongly supported by the quality of what you read and talked about before you write.
  • Write down all the ideas you have on a topic. Your assignment will be marked for what you have written, not for the excellent ideas in your mind that remain unexpressed.
  • After writing an assignment, revise what you have written and edit it to ensure it communicates your ideas clearly.


> Find more tips on writing well online in the Commonwealth of Learning’s Communication and Study Skills for Distance Education Students







In an online course, participating in the discussion forum is a good way to learn. It’s valuable to contribute to online discussion so that the ideas you read about come alive and have more meaning for you.


Five Easy Steps for Participation Online

  1. Read the required material.
  2. Now read what other learners have already posted to the discussion.
  3. Post your response from a personal point of view. Begin with an “I” statement; for example, “I agree” or “I disagree”.
  4. In your comment, refer to the required reading materials to provide reasons that support the points you make.
  5. Check back often to see how others respond to your comment. Add your own comments in response.

>> Log in to Moodle to join an online discussion group