First of all, WELCOME! Learning online is a fantastic way to increase your knowledge and skills in a unique, flexible environment with its own distinct strengths and opportunities.
Whether you’re trying online classes for the first time or looking for ways to strengthen your current habits and approaches, there are a few key areas to consider to set yourself up for success and take full advantage of all online learning has to offer.
In this collection of online learning best practices, we share tips and strategies to help you succeed in your learning journey, including ways to:
- Keep your mind and body healthy
- Effectively manage your time and minimize distractions
- Forge connections with your virtual learning community
- Get the most out of your learning
- Conquer logistics
One of the biggest benefits of online learning is flexibility, but too much freedom can pose new challenges. Find ways to structure and optimize your time for when and where you learn best and keep your learning on track.
- Set aside time for learning: This doesn’t mean you need to find four-hour blocks, three days a week. Online learning is designed to be modular and flexible. You may find 15 minutes to watch a short video lecture and write a three-sentence reflection post. But of course, other learning activities will require more time. Be planful and dedicate time to learn as you would to exercise or spending time with friends.
- Track deadlines: Add important due dates to a calendar so you don’t miss important deadlines.
- Minimize distractions: As much as you can, minimize distractions both in your physical environment and your digital environment. Close web browser windows not relevant to your learning, keep the TV off, etc.
Community and Social Learning
Online learning comes with connections to both world-class professors and a global community of passionate classmates. Find ways to connect with these rich learning communities, from participating in forums to networking with peers.
In our modern learning landscape there is vast amounts of content about virtually any topic to watch, read, and listen to, but knowing is different from doing. To get the most out of online learning, make sure you develop new knowledge and skills in a way that you can retain, apply repeatedly, and adapt to new contexts.