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Online Learning

15 Tips for Online Learning (Your Guide to Taking Online Classes)

Online learning can be great for many students because it offers flexibility. But there can also be challenges that come along with it. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about online learning and if it’s right for you.
Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky

Thanks to technology and WiFi, you can learn from literally anywhere. But online learning isn't always easy. That's why we've whipped up 15 top-notch tips to help you ace your virtual classes. Let's get to it!

15 Tips for Online Learning

Online learning is a great option for many people, but it does mean you need a certain amount of discipline. There are a lot of ways to establish some guidelines for yourself that also make your online learning experience better. These include:


1. Setting a schedule

Treat your online classes like you would a regular class and set a schedule for when you will attend and complete coursework. This will help you stay on track and ensure you don’t get neglectful with your studies.


2. Eliminate distractions.

It’s really easy to get distracted by a TV show, a cell phone, or tablet. Remove any distractions from your workspace to improve your focus.


3. Take breaks:

Working hard doesn’t mean you can’t - or don’t need to- take a break once in a while. Take regular breaks to prevent burnout and maintain productivity.


4. Maintain communication.

Just because you’re learning online doesn’t mean you are on your own. Stay in contact with your teachers and classmates to stay up-to-date and maintain a sense of connection through the Student Community.


Read more: What are the Technology Requirements for Online School?


How do you stand out in online classes?

Because of how in-person classes are arranged, it’s much easier to stand out amongst the crowd as a top student than it is in an online classroom. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make your mark in online school, though.


5. Participate:

Engage in discussions and ask questions to show your interest and understanding of the material.


6. Be Presentable:

If you have a video meeting with an instructor, dress appropriately to show respect for your them and the work you’re putting into your studies.


7. Show Creativity:

Use creative thinking and apply unique perspectives to assignments and projects.


8. Be Proactive:

Your education is in your hands. If you have questions or know you’re struggling with something, reach out to your instructors to seek guidance and help.


Read more: Must-Have Apps for High School Students


How do you mentally prepare for online classes?

We’ve mentioned this many times before, but online classes require a lot of discipline. There won’t be anyone reminding you of due dates or making sure you show up for class. This can be a lot of pressure if you're unprepared, so it’s best to come up with a plan to make sure you’re prepared.


9. Create a Routine.


Establish a morning and bed-time routine to help manage your stress and promote well-being.


10. Find a hobby.


It’s important to have something to focus on besides school or work. Finding a hobby you’re interested in can help you decompress, de-stress, and get into a positive mindset when you need to relax.


11. Stay positive.


Feeling stress can really take a toll on your well-being. Reminding yourself that while school can be hard, it’s only temporary can help you keep things in perspective. Try finding quotes that inspire you and leave little notes around for yourself to remind yourself of how well you’re doing.


12. Meditate.


Studies show that practicing mindfulness and meditating can help you focus and reduce anxiety and stress. There are a lot of great, free online apps to help you get started.


Read more: How to Study for an Online Course


What makes online learning easier?

13. Digital tools.


Use digital tools such as online planners, productivity apps, and note-taking software to stay organized and on task. Check out some of our top picks here.


14. Flexibility.


Take advantage of the flexibility of online learning by choosing a pace that works best for you and creating a study environment that fits your needs.


15. Access to resources.


Online learning provides access to various resources such as online libraries, discussion forums, and archived lectures. Penn Foster has a large Learning Resource Center that offers everything from a library to a writing center to career resources.


Read more: How to Transfer to an Online School


Get started online today

Online learning can be challenging, but with the right mindset and resources, it can be a rewarding experience. Following these tips will help you stay organized, engaged, and focused during your online classes. Remember to establish a routine, ask for help, stay engaged, take breaks, and find a support system. With these tips, you can get on the path towards tackling online learning with confidence.


To learn more about how online learning has worked for other students, check out our podcast!


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