7 Strategies for Success as an Online Student

October 21, 2016

This post gives you practical strategies to help you succeed in your online studies.

There are a number of strategies you can use during your learning experience. Because you are learning online and not in a classroom, you need to be more self-directed and independent. In essence, to be successful you need to plan how to learn.

Try out the strategies below and use the ones that work for you. Each of them will have an impact on your success as an online student.

1. Advanced organisation

Preview what you are going to learn. For example, if you want to improve your understanding of general concepts before getting into the details, look through the introductory chapters or videos first.

2. Directed attention

Give your full attention to studying one thing at a time. In an online environment, it is easy to get caught up in the links on a topic and end up far afield.

3. Selective attention

Study things you can remember easily because they are useful in your job or have an immediate impact on your assignment. Don't worry about learning the whole course in one sitting.

4. Self-monitoring

Correct yourself if you make a mistake or ask for help from your tutor or fellow students when you don't understand something. The tutor won't know that you are struggling, so ask a question via email or post to a discussion board.

5. Delayed production

When you first start to learn a new topic, take it slowly. The amount of new information can be overwhelming. Don't try to use all of the jargon words straight away or combine multiple concepts all at once. Take your time, clarify the concepts and discuss them with your tutor or fellow students before attempting your first assignment.

6. Self-evaluation

If you have to take a test, why not test yourself first. This will allow you to see if you have the concepts and phrasing clear in your mind before taking the real test and will enable you to perform significantly better.

7. Self-reinforcement

Give yourself a treat when you have successfully learned something or completed a section. It's important to give yourself breaks and reinforce your hard work.

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