Study Strategies for Online College Courses

College Degree Finder

Before the Classes Begin

Learn necessary computer skills before enrolling in online classes. Likewise, become familiar with acronyms used during instant messaging and other online communication methods. Developing these skills will enable you to maximize efficiency while completing online courses.

Technical Issues

  • Complete course tutorials to limit technical questions that may arise during the semester
  • Get tips from students who’ve successfully complete online courses
  • Save files onto a storage device to protect yourself from a hard drive crash
  • Always have extra paper and printer ink on hand
  • Make sure all course content is accessible at the beginning of the semester to identify any problems
  • Obtain a pdf reader at the beginning of the semester
  • Effectively organize files, so they can be easily retrieved quickly

Be Actively Involved in the Material

  • Take notes as you read course materials
  • Clarify confusing topics by communicating with your professor. Contact them during their hours of availability
  • Print course notes and study materials to highlight text and jot down margin notes


  • Do not send inappropriate emails to other students since they could forward anything you send to other people
  • Be professional when communicating online since anything you write could be misinterpreted
  • Don’t send all caps emails

Time Management

Time management is the most difficult aspect of online education. Since online classes can be completed at a student’s convenience, many students procrastinate course work. Additionally, it’s easy to get distracted by the Internet while completing online courses. Improve time management by utilizing these tips:

  • Before the semester begins, contact your professor to get an idea of the hours per week that should be dedicated to school work
  • Set time aside each week to complete school work. Silent your phone and do not permit friends and family members to distract you while studying
  • Refrain from surfing the web, paying bills, watching movies, and completing other non-school related work on your computer while completing coursework
  • Before the semester begins, mark test days, assignment due dates, and other important events on a calendar. Additionally, mark on your calendar days telecasts and class discussions will be held


Do not fall behind in coursework. Use these tips if procrastination becomes a problem:

  • Identify potential distractions before beginning coursework. During subsequent sessions, take steps to remove these distractions. This could include completing work in a quiet room, turning the TV off while working, or completing work during the early morning hours
  • Organize study sessions by listing the work you plan to complete prior to sessions. Also, plan to complete scheduled work in a specified period of time to avoid surfing the web or checking email
  • Organize study sessions with other students. Group members can motivate each other to stay on task. Likewise, students utilizing this strategy often feel accountable to their peers

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