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
- 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...
- Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
- Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
- Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
- About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
- Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
- Graduate Certificate in Project Management
- Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Counseling
- B.S. in Human Services / Human Services Management
- And more...
- Top-ranked online MBA
- As few as 24 months to complete
- GMAT waivers for experienced professionals
- Bachelor’s degree required
- Six concentrations available
- AACSB accredited
- Master of Business Adminitration (MBA)
Study for your graduate education with University of Illinois at Chicago. We offer master’s degree and post-master’s certificate programs in health informatics that can be completed 100% online.
- Master of Science in Health Informatics
- Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
- As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
- International Business - D.B.A.
- Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
- MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
- And more...
Designed by RNs for RNs
Chamberlain’s RN to BSN option offers convenient 100% online coursework, no mandatory login times and no campus visits. This flexible framework allows you to continue in your current role while you pursue your degree. And, because the curriculum is developed and taught by RNs who are also educators, you know you are learning what you need to push your skills forward now – and in the future.
Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended Chamberlain University can be found at http://chamberlain.edu/ge
- RN to BSN Online Option
As a leader in education, Regis is dedicated to offering programs with a holistic view of health services that are designed for the future of the field. Through cutting-edge coursework, industry-active faculty members, and an array of majors and graduate programs, Regis has been able to positively impact the educational community, health services landscape, and personal lives of students nationwide.
- Online Master of Social Work
- Online Master of Public Health - Epidemiology Concentration
- Online Master of Public Health
- And more...
At SNHU, we believe everyone should have greater access to higher education. That’s why we offer over 200 accredited degree programs, flexible class schedules, and some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation. We offer military tuition discounts up to 30% toward online undergraduate and graduate degree programs for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
- BA Psychology - Child & Adolescent Development
- MBA with concentration in Quantitative Analysis
- MS in Criminal Justice: Advanced Counterterrorism
- And more...
The online Master of Science in Data Science from the University of Denver Ritchie School prepares students to build the tools that collect data and use evaluation strategies to make critical business, research, and policy decisions. The program is designed for students of all academic backgrounds and offers four bridge courses to provide them with the programming skills they need to start classes. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply.
- Master's in Data Science
Simmons University’s online Master of Social Work program can be completed in as few as 15 months, and GRE scores are not required.
- Master of Social Work