Although how you learn may depend on your learning style, there are some tips for learning online that apply to just about everyone. Here are three things you should make sure you do, two things you shouldn’t do, and one thing that is absolutely forbidden, if you are wanting to learn online.
Three things to do:
To complete a degree online means often working alone when your friends are out enjoying themselves, and it means maintaining this level of commitment for a long period of time. To achieve this, you must have a high degree of motivation. We did some research on success factors for our mature-age online learners. The number one factor wasn’t previous exam results – it was motivation. Even with very few previous academic qualifications, we found that students would succeed providing they were motivated. So, do make sure that you are highly motivated to learn.
Unfortunately, many of us were not taught how to learn. Instead we were only taught “rote learning”. Somewhere along the way we were expected to acquire the other skills needed to acquire knowledge. Learning online requires that you develop these skills. This not only means having the technical skills of how find books or web sites on a topic, it also means having well-developed critical reading and thinking skills. Many programs or colleges will provide a course to help you acquire such skills, e.g., the Open University UK online course “Living with the internet: learning online” – it would be well worthwhile taking it so that you do know how to learn.
In an online course, real learning takes place when you are interacting with others on the course. So try to find a learning group, either in your area or online – your e-Tutor may well facilitate this. You can then take part in “social learning” – and you will find that you only truly “know” something when you try to explain it to someone else. Make sure that you respond to all the e-Tutor’s requests for feedback and do participate in the course discussion forums.
Two things not do:
For many of us, our school experience taught us to be “passive learners” and such learning seemed to be a useful strategy for success. Unfortunately, that is not a useful strategy for success in today’s world, or, indeed, in online learning. If you are learning online, the courseware often includes questions, exercises and further reading so that your learning can be active rather than passive. You must make sure that you complete all the exercises and that you thoroughly interact with the material so as to gain the most out of it. This also helps to maintain your motivation. So – do not be a passive learner.
Just because it is a flexible form of education, it doesn’t mean that you can keep “putting it off”. Procrastination, and then trying to fit it all in at the end, has caused so many failures. Don’t leave it until the last minute to upload your assignment or you can guarantee that your Internet service will go down just at that moment. So be organised – manage your time. Set aside a regular time in your diary for study of the material and completion of assignments – well before the due dates. Do not be a poor time manager.
I recently heard of a government official who had his position taken away from him on the grounds that he hadn’t earned his qualifications because they were from a “diploma mill” – a business that simply prints diplomas and degrees. He protested that he had “earned” them because he paid good money for them. You must always make sure that the online qualification you receive is from an accredited institution and the form of accreditation is recognised in your country. Never “buy” a qualification from a “diploma mill”.
And last but not least of the tips for learning online – find the program you really want to do
It’s important to take a program that you really want to do. Don’t just do something because your friends are doing it, or because a relative says it will get you good job, or because someone else thinks you should do it.
It is also important to take your program at an appropriate school – and this may partly be about convenience and partly about reputation. If you know the subject area you want, use the search form on this page to find the school or program most suitable for you. If you want to know more about specific online learning program areas, the web site has a section on online programs.
For those students who feel that online learning is not for them, the web site also has a section on campus programs.
Summary of tips for learning online
So, in summary and stated positively, here are the tips for learning online:
- make sure that you are highly motivated to learn;
- know how to learn;
- participate in the discussion forums and other interactive media;
- be an active learner;
- be a good time manager;
- get your qualification from an accredited college;
- find the program you really want to do
List of schools and programs
- Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
- Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
- Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
- Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
- Cloud Technologies Bachelors - Online
- Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
- Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
- And more...
- Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
- Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
- A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
- Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
- Bachelor of Accounting
- Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Law Enforcement
- Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Forensic Science
- And more...
- Personalized learning that’s guided by industry trends
- Technology-driven approach designed to help you reach your potential
- Access to real-world learning and strong thought leadership
- Convenient ways to complete your degree even with a busy schedule
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
- Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Human Services
- And more...
100% Online & No Standardized Testing
We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.
- Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
- Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
- M.Div: Homiletics
- And more...
- Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
- Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
- Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
- Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
- 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
- Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Leadership
- Master of Business Administration - Leadership
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Teacher Leader
- And more...
- Payroll Clerk
- Private Investigation
- High School
- And more...
Named a “Best College” by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes, Simmons University has earned a reputation for providing a pioneering liberal arts education for undergraduates integrated with professional work experience. Today, Simmons offers renowned coeducational graduate programs in business, communications management, nursing and health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, and library and information science.
Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool)—The Original Information School—is proud of its position as a leader in the field. The iSchool’s community of more than 50 faculty members, more than 1,400 students, and nearly 10,000 alumni are dedicated to driving innovation in information services and leveraging the power of information to build a better world.
- Master of Science in Library and Information Sciences
The online Master of Social Work program from Fordham University’s top-ranked Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) is one of the nation’s largest schools of social work. Rooted in the tradition of care for the whole person, GSS has been providing high-quality social work education for more than 100 years. Students develop skills that extend across populations and social work contexts as they progress through the University’s forward-facing curriculum. Bachelor's degree required.
- Master of Social Work
Located in the breathtaking Sonoran desert of southern Arizona and within an international border region, The University of Arizona is consistently ranked as a top public research university, offering graduate degrees in more than one hundred fields and is widely recognized for its cutting-edge research and innovation. The University of Arizona also offers Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs which enables the fusion of ideas, techniques, and expertise from the traditional academic fields to provide for the evolution of modern and imaginative methods of research, and the creation of new fields of endeavor.
- Master of Public Health Online