6 Simple Tips for Success with Online Learning

Online learning is a great way for high school students to stay current with their coursework and earn an education without having to physically attend a school. Flexibility and convenience are two major advantages of online schools but keeping up with coursework and meeting deadlines can be a challenge. 

With the right mindset and plan, you can succeed with online learning. Follow these tips and you’ll be off to a great start!

1. Make a Schedule and Stick to It

A conventional school environment is structured and somewhat rigid. While online learning gives you plenty of freedom to learn whenever works best for you, not having a set schedule can make it difficult to stay on track.

If you don’t have a schedule already, then sit down and create one. Schedule in time for:

  • Coursework (lectures, lessons, etc.)
  • Studying
  • Assignments 
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Socialization

Of course, you should also make sure that you have some time for fun and relaxation every day. But if you want to succeed with online learning, studying and assignments should be your top priority.

2. Communicate With Your Teachers

Although online learning happens in a digital environment, instructors are still available to help students succeed. For that reason, it’s important that you’re on good terms with your teachers, as they can be a great source of information and help. Their goal is for you to succeed, so reaching out to them is an important step in your progress as a student.

If you have any questions, ask them to clarify the information that they’re giving you. If you don’t understand something that they’re explaining, ask them to explain it again. This will help you to perform better in your class, especially if you’re struggling with a subject or concept.

Take advantage of the resources available to you. These include resources like tutors, online homework help, and class outlines. If you use these resources, you’ll be able to get the most out of your online education.

3. Keep a Positive Attitude

Staying motivated and keeping a good attitude about your education are essential for success. Don’t let yourself get discouraged or overwhelmed by your coursework and assignments. If you’re struggling to keep up, try:

  • Refining your schedule. Maybe you need more time to focus on your coursework and assignments. You might work better early in the morning or in the afternoon.  Maybe you need to break up your schedule or focus on more difficult classes first. Finding the best schedule arrangement for you will mean doing some thinking about what is working and what is not in regard to your schedule.
  • Talking to your instructors or finding a tutor. You may just need a little extra help. Good students don’t always know how to figure out what they don’t know, but they do know when and how to reach out for help.
  • Reaching out to classmates. Other students can be a great source of help, encouragement and motivation.

Remember that you’re in control of your education and your success. Keeping a positive outlook will help you move forward.

4. Set Goals

Goals will set you up for success both in your education and in your life. Get in the habit of setting achievable goals for the following:

  • Grades
  • Assignment deadlines
  • Coursework

Be specific, realistic, and thorough when setting your goals, and don’t forget to set a deadline. Create a plan to reach your goal and follow it. 

Make sure that you’re setting goals regularly to continue pushing yourself along the path of success. Take some time to review your goals.  Ask yourself, “Is this an achievable goal? Do I need to adjust my current goals?  Have I pushed myself or do I need to push myself less?”  Taking some time for introspection about your goals and achievements is a healthy way to stay engaged in your learning.

5. Actively Participate

Be an active participant in your classes. Engage with students and instructors in the forums. Ask questions. Answer questions. Comment on papers and add to discussions. Make it a point to check in on discussion threads at least once per day.

Be an active participant in your classes.  Even if you don’t interact directly with other students, share what you are learning with family and friends.  Ask for feedback and initiate discussion about topics you’re covering in your Social Studies classes.  While studying for English class, discuss the themes of the stories you’re reading with others.  Take time to reflect with other people in your life about what you are learning.  If there is a topic that you are interested in learning more about, do some independent, casual research about it.  When you have questions or want to learn more deeply about a topic or assignment, reach out to your instructors for discussion and insight. 

When you’re actively participating in your online classes, you’re really immersing yourself in the coursework and staying engaged in the knowledge you are gaining. Ask yourself, “How does this new information shape my view of myself, my community, and the world?” 

If you’re sitting on the sidelines, you may miss out on conversation and comments that can help you better understand the coursework. 

6. Hold Yourself Accountable

In a traditional school environment, your teachers and classmates are there to hold you accountable for your assignments and exams. If you fail to complete an assignment, you have to explain yourself to your instructor – face to face.

With online learning, it’s easy to shut down your laptop and forget about your assignments for the day. You don’t have that same level of accountability, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t hold yourself accountable.

Here are some tips:

  • Remember those goals we talked about earlier? Make sure that you’re checking in regularly to see how you’re progressing with those goals.
  • Ask a classmate, friend or loved one to check in on you regularly. Having an accountability partner can help you stay on the right track.
  • Stay organized and be proactive about deadlines. Make it a goal to get assignments done early and keep track of your deadlines to make sure they’re not missed. 

Holding yourself accountable can go a long way in helping you succeed with online learning. 

The Takeaway

Online learning can be challenging, but the rewards make it worth the effort. Use these tips to help succeed with your online classes and reach your learning goals. Remember that you are in control of your educational path. Don’t be afraid to try new schedules, study environments and time management techniques to find a learning method that works best for you. 

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