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Tips for Online Learning Success

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We get it — life can get pretty busy. But one of the greatest benefits of being an online student is being able to complete your coursework around your own schedule. It’s even easier when you develop proper study habits and commit to doing well in your classes. Here are some tips, hints and strategies for making your online learning experience successful.

Tips for Online Students

Doing your best in your online courses really comes down to a few simple practices. Here are a few tips to help build your success:

Review your syllabus ASAP

Familiarizing yourself with your instructor’s policies before the first day of class is crucial to setting yourself up to have a successful semester. Be sure to pay attention to important due dates and grading procedures. You can also find your instructor’s contact information, how they’d like to be contacted and office hours here.

Create a study schedule that works for you

Juggling online classes with other responsibilities can be stressful. Developing a study routine around your schedule can help you stay on top of things. When creating your study schedule make sure you give yourself enough time to read through the material before completing assignments. Once you have a schedule in place, stick to it. Make the most out of your designated study time by turning off phone notifications to limit distraction.

Engage with your online community

As an online student, interacting with your fellow classmates through the digital community can make the biggest difference in your learning experience. While it can be easy to passively consume and not contribute to discussion posts, actively engaging with your classmates can help you better retain the material. Sharing videos, reference materials and outside sources in online discussions can really help bring a lesson to life. You can create crucial connections to and get answers from your peers by using question forums in your courses.

Challenges for Online Students

The sooner you can identify challenges you may face as an online student, the easier it is to prevent and deal with them. Some common issues online students sometimes face are:

  • Having unrealistic expectations for online courses, such as thinking they’ll just be “easy” and you can procrastinate on assignments
  • Lacking time-management skills
  • Avoiding interacting with peers and instructors, which can lead to feeling isolated and a lack of awareness of resources and support
  • Being afraid to seek help

Resources for Online Students

As an online student it can sometimes feel like it’s harder to access academic resources since you’re not on campus, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are several digital-based resources offered through UCF and other institutions that are specialized for online learners.

UCF’s Student Academic Resource Center (SARC)

If you’re looking for supplemental materials for courses or want to find out more about learning skills, SARC’s online resources are available 24/7. SARC can also connect you to study groups and tutoring through its Online Peer Assisted Learning (OPAL) sessions.

UCF Writing Center

Nervous about an upcoming writing assignment? Don’t be. The University Writing Center features consultants who can help you develop ideas, plan and organize your material, identify grammar and punctuation mistakes, make proper citations and more. To schedule an online consultation, call 407-823-2197 or use TutorTrac.

Purdue Owl

Whether you need to complete an assignment in MLA, APA or Chicago writing style, the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University conveniently compiles the information you need to know for proper paper formatting on its website.


Besides popular vlogs and DIY tutorials, you can find tons of online learning resources on YouTube. From learning about other online students experiences to finding summaries on study topics, don’t underestimate the value of a YouTube search.