20 Wonderful Tips For Success In Online Courses

by - October 03, 2016

20 Wonderful Tips For Success In Online Courses

I want to assume that you have already gotten admission to start an online course, if so congratulation. And so I think you will really need some tips for success in online courses you are going to take. First the good thing about these online courses is that you may no longer have to pass through the troubles of running around trying to meet up to lecture, locating lecture classes and quarrelling with people on your way to lectures.

Yes, now you are in a comfort zone, no disturbance, just sit in front of your computer and do the interesting thing you can ordinarily do – browse and chat. It is easy, right? Well, let me just tell you the truth, managing online tutorial is not as easy as so many people think it to be. I am not here to discourage but to tell you the truth so that you will be ready to face the challenges that come from it. Meanwhile, to convince you that I am not that pessimistic about your survival in online learning, I will draw your attention to some activities and practises you need to carry out, for you to actually enjoin and get the best of online learning. As I use to say, just relax and let me do the talking.


distance education 

1. Starting late to class

It may seem irrelevant when the question of ‘being late’ is considered in relation to online tutorials. It is true that no one is going to sanction you or scold you. You don’t owe anyone explanation and the time you have is always flexible, so where is the place of ‘being late’? Check the time for discussion and submission of assignments, also be very observant to know the time you have the highest engagement in a group class. Get all these information handy and try to work with it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that time is always there.

2. Assume that online education is easy

Although online education can offer great flexibility and convenient learning environment which is often unavailable for traditional campus-based learning, this doesn’t mean that it is easier than campus-based classes. Online education needs the same engagement and time you would normally give in the on-campus learning. Having the assumption that online tutorial is easy and can be approached hapharzadly can be the beginning of your failure, because when the nitty-gritty of online education sets in, you will not have any other choice but to quit. It is not a piece of cake. In fact, online learning requires study, enough study. You need to study to cover the materials your lecturer presented, you need to study for text and you also need to study to participate in meaningful discussion. So remove that default notion that online education is a walk in the park, an easy-peasy.

3. Use only the suggested textbook

This is one of the many unknown ways students fail in online education. They prefer not to go beyond the text and other materials from the instructor. Learning is all about researching and online learning is no exemption. You should be able to go beyond or ahead of your instructor, lay your hand on relevant materials for the online tutorials. Sometimes the instructor may give a hint or recommend a particular book, always take those materials seriously. Sometimes the recommendation may not be too serious but your ability to get them and use them in group discussion will give your instructor an impression that you are serious.

4. Inactive in Group discussion

Online education is structured in a way that you should reach out to people, engage and share materials and ideas. Some online learning has great chat group where the instructor and students can discuss and share information. Please, please and please, don’t take this group as one of those social networks you belong. Remember, you enrolled in online education because you really felt the need to further or acquire a qualification; so take group discussion serious and be engaged in it. Try as much as possible to post in the group discussion and try to ask relevant questions to your instructor or classmates.

5. Not asking for feedback

Don’t think that you are always getting it right, make out time to engage with your lecturer ask him/her how your performance has been. Request a feedback from him and if possible from your classmates. This may be through email or direct chat. It is very important you get a feedback from the person instructing you, they have the experience and may detect when you’re not getting the best of your online learning.

6. Interrupting study schedule

Online education requires you to have a well-defined time for study. This time of reading should be sacred to you. Unless on circumstance beyond your control, you should not reschedule it. Basically, you should have an uninterrupted time to study. Online education requires great maturity and your maturity is manifest in the way you manage your time. Be in charge of your study and not time.

7. Not sharing information

Yes, this one also. Maybe you think that hoarding information and refusing to share it with the group will make you excel – no! it only makes you look childish and uninformed. Before you enter the group discussion acquaint yourself with information and share that information to your online classmate.

8. Not asking for help

Don’t think that your instructor will be requesting you to seek help. There are many things you may not know and it is only through the discussion forum that you can be clarified. Don’t be shy or ashamed asking your questions and seeking for clarification. Sometimes you may feel a slight setback when you look at the extent your classmates have gone. It is up to you to reach them at any point in time.

9. Being isolated

The discussion board provided for online learning is not a place you will stay idle and simply read the group discussion without participating. Online education will give you ample opportunity to reach out to people and so there is almost no reason one shouldn’t be engaged. Don’t just sit on your own and expect answers to come and meet you.  By engaging in group discussion you will gain encouragement to continue. It is true that online education has an impersonal nature but when you get connected to your classmates and lecturer, you will begin to enjoy your engagements in group chats.

10. Not being prepared before enrolling

You should understand that online education requires your time; of you already know that you need a high dose of self-will and you must keep yourself motivated. The two things I will recommend you to have is self-motivation and proper time management skills.

11. Planning self-paced study

This is one unpopular problem I think, is secretly dealing with online students. The fact that online education has great flexible program anyone can adapt to, shouldn’t make you have a tortoise-pace approach in meeting up to online lectures and other requirements. Don’t give yourself time, try and work according to the time set by your instructor. You can your private study time but when it comes to assignment and projects, please make sure your assignments or projects are ready for the due date. If you set your own pace, I’m pretty sure, you wouldn’t want to stress yourself and so there will not be any engagement.


 distance learning

12. Engage

You have to be very active in the discussion board. Try always to show your presence and insight to what is being discussed. Be careful here, being always available in discussion board does not mean you should bore people with incessant messages and unnecessary comments. You should be able to differentiate your Social media chat room from your online education chat room. Bear in mind that it is a serious platform to learn and teach so don’t give your instructor reasons to think negative of you.

13. Avoid technical hitches

Online education is basically technology-based. Most of what you will be using for classes and learning have to do with internet technology, so how will you make good use of them. It is obvious that these technologies are machines and are likely to disappoint at any time; you may experience things like program freezing at the very spot of submitting your assignment, or system rebooting and formatting.
So, to be on a safer side, try as much as possible to avoid any technical hitch that will hinder your online success. One way you should do this is by working ahead of time, get your assignments and projects done as early as possible and save them in your flash drive, email or dropbox.

14. Organise your study

For you to make the best of your online education, you should have a high sense of organisation. Know the things that matter and prioritise your assignments and projects. You should know which assignments or projects requires immediate attention and concentration. For instance, you don’t want to leave assignment 1 that is scheduled to be submitted next week for assignment 3 that is scheduled for next month.
To better organise yourself, pay attention to materials your instructor will recommend. The online tutorials may require you to learn instructional materials, review slides, keep track of deadlines and have a focus, create a calendar to keep you updated and alert to upcoming engagements.

15. Write efficiently

You don’t want to write like you are addressing your playmate somewhere – this is serious online education and you should bear that in mind anytime you’re writing, be it in the group discussion or email to your instructor or classmate. Show great efficiency in writing as this will boost your prestige and make you a valuable asset to your classmates.

16. Frequent your class

Simply put, don’t let your class rust, you need to lubricate it with your constant visiting. Not just logging in and leaving but try to engage meaningfully. Check out whether there is any new update from the instructor or any question or discussion from your classmates. This will give a sense of duty and belong.

17. Starting it right

I have somehow hinted to this earlier but just to be specific, you need to start your online education right. Make sure that at the outset, you evaluate the course load. With the knowledge of the course load; create your own time schedule and be ready to be faithful to it. Make sure to get yourself familiarise with the course expectations.

18. Create a study harbour

The first thing you need to check before starting online class is to examine your study spot. Ask yourself, where is your study harbour. Your study harbour should be somewhere very comfortable and suitable for study. That is to say, it should be calm, not too comfortable else you may find yourself always dozing off or mind-travelling. Your study spot can be your home, office or anywhere you find comfortable enough – comfortable in the sense that you are left alone, devoid any interruption or activities that may derail your attention.
Then when you must have gotten your study harbour, make sure to equip it with things relevant for your study. You don’t want the situation whereby you will running around to look for one material or the other and end up distracting yourself.

19. Multimedia mastery

Maybe you don’t need to be a multimedia expert but you should have a considerable knowledge about it. The online education deals with interactions and discussions and so there are lots of interactive features to facilitate these platforms. Basically, you need to familiarise yourself with interactive features like a forum, video, message board, podcasts, conferencing etc. if you can navigate yourself around these various features you can thrive in any virtual situation.

20. Communicate with your instructor

Many students don’t see the need for this. For them, it is just better to simply stay with others in the group discussion and make do with whatever the instructor say. Whether they understand it or not, there’s no need to probe further. It is very necessary that you make your instructor some kind of your study buddy. Reach your instructor via email or any other available means. Some instructors can even give you their personal contact, make use of these and get the best from them. Sometimes they may not have time to explain everything in the group or they may take for granted some essential things you need to know.

Having said these…

With this tips for success in online course, I have this great confidence that you will surely do well in your online education, having gone through this post. When you apply these steps to your online study all you need is to sit back and watch the class unfold, you will enjoy it. As a way of encouragement, please help to share this post. Do you feel like contributing to this post or want to help others with your personal experience? Please use the comment box and let us hear from you.

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  1. Most people thinks online study is a piece of cake, it not at all. All my certificate of completion are based on online and it was not easy at all. Same as doing online programs like B.Sc or others.

    1. It's nice to hear this from one who has experienced it. Thanks for the insight.

  2. I really have to start considering distance education. I rarely have time for on-campus schooling

  3. Good post. A lot of good content here. Online study is just boring after some time... Because you just scroll scroll and scroll down down and down...

  4. I think most of the bore done is caused by the strategy employed by the instructor. Same imply to traditional learning, some are boring while some are interesting.

  5. Nice writ-up Mr Mario, a very useful information here and the online study is something to be considered. i have learnt from you, Thanks man

    1. Glad I could help...keep coming for further online learning tips

  6. Nice write up quite an easy guide to anybody who aspires to study online.

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