How to be a Successful Online Student

How to be a Successful Online Student

Attending classes at a brick and mortar institution is just not possible for everyone. If you are among those that need a learning environment that is flexible and convenient, why not try online classes? Not only can you find online classes to build almost any degree in which you are interested, but the classes are often given in a convenient rotation that lets you take more courses as soon as you finish the first set of modules.

As you prepare for online studies, be careful to keep your expectations realistic, though. No matter where you choose to earn your degree, the courses require you to invest your time and effort into the program. However, there are some study habits that can help you succeed.

Location is Key
When trying to study, find a quiet place that allows you to consider what you are reading, type without distractions, and take notes without listening to conversations. Although many people believe they can multi-task while studying, most find they really cannot.

Quiet Your Cell Phone
Let your family, friends, and significant others know you need time to study and then turn your phone onto vibration only. Even if you are locked away in your room for an hour, let others know they should consider you at school and only contact you during emergencies — and lost keys are not an emergency!

Avoid Black Holes
Many students have gotten sucked into the black holes of video games when they should be studying. It is easy to proclaim you need to beat one more level, or you will stay up just one more hour to win the prize. Consider removing games from your computer or using a computer that has no games on it for your course studies.

Take Mental Breaks
Telling other people you need time for school work may help to keep them away, but it may not help your mind concentrate on the subject matter when you know you have other things that need to be done. To help calm your mind, set a timer. Then study until the timer announces a break. In this way, you can be assured you do not have to remember whatever it is you need to do next.

Take Physical Breaks, Too
If you plan on studying for an hour or two, why not use the same timer trick to remind yourself that your body needs a break too? Study until the timer goes off and then take a moment to stretch or walk into another room for a cold drink. If your body feels cramped, stretching can help rejuvenate your muscles and prepare you for another marathon hour of studying.

Beware Internet Surfing
Although searching the internet is much easier than searching through books at the library, there is a danger in the amount of information available. Also, it is easy to become side-tracked when searching for one specific article on the internet. You may find something interesting you never knew before, which leads to something else, and before you know it, an hour of your study time is gone.

Consider Your Comfort
Finding a comfy chair, a place for your computer, and an area with good lighting is essential to your body’s comfort during long study periods. You may want to have a place nearby for paper, books, and pens so you can easily grab them.

Benefit From Technology
Taking your laptop with you to study during breaks, over lunch, or while waiting to meet a friend can add a surprising amount of time to your study routine. If you can make or find a Wi-Fi hotspot, almost anyplace you are can become a study area and allow you to read course materials or listen to audiobooks.

Develop a Schedule
Perhaps the most important of all the study hints available is to develop a study schedule. Most humans thrive with routine, and if you are like the majority, knowing what you have to accomplish, when papers are due, and when the next online discussion group is can help you stay organized and assist in making sure you do not miss any assignments.


Finding a study spot that you visit at a given time each day can help you build a study routine. Add all the other hints from this list, and you can become a successful online student.

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