Top 10 Study Tips for Online Learning Success

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If you’re like most students, you’re probably taking online courses to fit more classes into your busy schedule. Juggling a job, family, and social life can be tough enough – without having to worry about studying for online exams. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we will share 10 study tips that will help you ace your online courses and get the grades you deserve. Let’s get started!

Let’s Start With the Basics First!

What is Online Learning, and How Does It Work?

Before we jump into the tips for studying online, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page about what online learning is and how it works. Online learning is a type of distance education that allows students to attend class and complete coursework entirely online. This means you can study at your own pace, on your own time, and from anywhere in the world.

Most online courses are asynchronous, which means they don’t require you to be online at a specific time for live lectures. But some courses may have synchronous components, like scheduled discussion boards or office hours where you need to be online at a certain time. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can study online!

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s get into the tips.

Top Ten Tips for Studying Online

Tip #1: Treat an Online Course Like a “Real” Course

e-learning online education

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that an online course is just like a traditional, brick-and-mortar class. You will be expected to complete assignments, participate in discussions, and take exams. The only difference is that you’ll be doing all this from the comfort of your home (or wherever you have an internet connection).

Tip #2: Hold Yourself Accountable and Micro-Manage Your Time

time management concept

We’ve all spent hours cleaning the sock draw or making amazing study lists when we should have been studying for our tests! In today’s fast-paced world, this implies spending minutes or even hours on social media.

Keep track of your progress and make goals for each week, day, or even hourly. Even better, look for a study buddy to keep you accountable. Don’t let the weekend pass without accomplishing at least one goal in your program!

You receive prompts and peer pressure through verbal or visual reminders of an assignment’s due date when you undertake face-to-face training. When you study online, however, and especially if it is self-paced, you must make sure you have adequate time to complete the task. You are responsible for the situation. Organize yourself, be proactive, study for a set number of hours each day, even if it is only an hour. Micro-manage your study time by breaking large assignments into smaller goals and study periods. Get organized and get it done!

Tip #3: Confirm that the Course’s Technical Requirements Have Been Met

laptop apps concept

The most significant distinction between studying online and in a classroom is that you are in control of your learning environment.

You provide the workspace, computer, and any other equipment you require, such as a PC with the appropriate technical specs. In most situations, any computer with internet connectivity will be enough.

We do not recommend studying on a mobile device since it’s difficult to read course material and impossible to give your full attention when using such a little screen. Some courses also demand more sophisticated software/hardware than you will have available on your computer. Let’s suppose you’re taking an online video editing course. You’ll need a computer with enough RAM and a good graphics card to run video-editing software. Furthermore, you may require the program itself, which might have a hefty licensing cost!

So, until you’ve figured out the technical requirements for online courses, don’t register for them. If you can’t meet them right now, put off taking the course until you can get what you need.

Tip #4: Make Sure You Have Stable Internet Connection

closeup of a wifi router

We’ve all sat and observed the progress bar…crawling…nervousness growing! We’ve seen a significant increase in online studying as a result of COVID lockdowns. However, online is exactly that: ONLINE! That means you need internet.

If your internet connection is unreliable or slow, you might find yourself interrupted throughout the course. Wasting limited study time when you could be studying.

If available, 4G is an excellent backup. There may be a location for you at any time, day or night—from coffee shops and even some public areas such as shopping malls—as part of your backup alternatives! Consider if an online course is the best option for you if your home internet isn’t reliable. At the absolute least, develop a backup plan in case your home network connection fails. We all experience brief outages and sluggish sessions (storms or construction) from time to time, no matter where we are. Webinars are frequently recorded and may assist you when your internet connection goes down.

Consider joining Facebook groups and other chat forums to remain in touch if your internet goes down during one of those events and you can’t participate in the conversation with your classmates.

Tip #5: Prepare a Special Study Area for Yourself

study area at home

You might study better at a study carrel in the library. Others of us learn best while sprawled on the floor with our laptop. Some people can study anywhere, anytime; others require complete silence or need to be around others to stay focused.

Recognizing how you study is vital to online success since there are more distractions at home than in a study hall. If you study better with company, consider meeting up with classmates for study sessions or study dates at the library or coffee shop.

If you can’t study in silence, try using noise-canceling headphones and listening to classical music or white noise while you work.

When picking a spot to learn and study, consider these important features:

  • Lighting: A dark area or room might quickly become claustrophobic and even depressing. It will also cause your eyes to tire more quickly. Consider using additional indirect light sources if you have a dark house or workplace.
  • Comfort: You will study more if you are physically comfortable. If your room is usually cold, make sure you have a sweater or blanket to keep yourself warm.
  • Proximity to distractions: It’s best to study in an area where there are as few distractions as possible. If you live with others, try to find a spot where you can study in peace and quiet.
  • Ambiance: The atmosphere of your study area can have a big impact on how well you focus. If you study better in silence, try to find a spot where you won’t be interrupted.
    Supplies: Make sure you have everything you need to study before you start. This includes things like pens, paper, highlighters, and your laptop or tablet.

A dedicated location is preferable, but it doesn’t have to be an “office.” Consider the dining area, kitchen, or bedroom – as long as you aren’t distracted. Consider whether you are a morning person or a night owl, and select the most suitable time of day for online learning and studying. Find out what works best for you.

Tip #6: Determine Your Learning Goals and Objectives

pencil with outline rocket on white paper

Before you start an online course or degree program, it is important to know what your goals and objectives are. What do you hope to achieve by taking this course? What are your long-term career goals?

It is also important to be realistic about your expectations. An online course is not going to be easy just because you are not attending class in person. You will still have to study, do assignments, and participate in discussion boards.

It is important to be clear about your goals so that you can select the right course and program. There are many different types of online courses and programs, and not all of them are right for everyone.

Some people take online courses to improve their job prospects, while others take them to learn more about a subject they are interested in. There are also people who take online courses for personal development or to earn a degree.

Whatever your reasons for taking an online course, make sure you know what your goals and objectives are before you start. This will help you select the right course and ensure that you are successful.

Tip #7: Build a Study Plan (and Follow It)

organised study plan

One of the most important study tips for online learning is to have a study plan and to stick to it. This means setting aside time each day or week to study, and then making sure you actually do it.

It can be helpful to set specific goals for each study session. For example, if you are taking a course on history, your goal for the study session might be to read one chapter of the textbook.

If you are taking a math course, your goal might be to complete all of the practice problems in one section of the textbook.

Whatever your goals are, make sure they are specific and achievable. Once you have set your goals, make a study schedule and stick to it.

There’s no such thing as the “correct” study routine. The best one will work with your schedule and enable you to fulfill your other commitments while still getting the most out of it. But don’t be scared to push yourself. If you keep pushing for higher results, you’ll finish the course faster and feel more satisfied at the end of it.

Tip #8: When You’re Stuck, Ask for Assistance

woman with note HELP on forehead

One of the great things about online learning is that there is usually someone you can contact when you need help.

If you are struggling with the material, don’t hesitate to contact your instructor or a tutor for assistance. Most instructors are happy to help their students succeed. There are also many online study groups and forums where you can get help from other students.

If you are having trouble understanding a concept, doing an assignment, or anything else related to the course, don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are many people who are willing and able to assist you. Of course, you may also seek assistance in the real world. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who has previously studied the topic. Getting aid from someone you know might be less intimidating, especially if you’re new to online learning.

Tip #9: Take Study Breaks Regularly

woman taking a break

It’s also vital to understand that extended study has a negative impact. It can also have significant health risks, including the following:

  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Sleep deprivation

To avoid these problems, it is important to take study breaks regularly. Get up and walk around, stretch, or do something else to get your body moving. You should also take breaks to eat healthy snacks and meals. It’s important to fuel your body as well as your mind. And finally, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for both your physical and mental health.

So, make sure you take study breaks regularly. It will help improve your concentration and focus, and it will also help you avoid burnout.

Tip #10: Participate in Online Discussions

woman engaged in an online discussion

In many online courses, there are opportunities to participate in online discussions. These can be a great way to learn from your classmates and get different perspectives on the material.

When you participate in an online discussion, make sure you contribute thoughtfully and respectfully. Read what others have written before responding. And when you do respond, make sure your comments are on topic and add to the discussion.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re confused about something. And don’t hesitate to share your own insights and perspectives. By participating in online discussions, you can learn a lot and also get to know your classmates better.

Here’s a bonus tip!

Learn from experienced business owners, subject matter experts, and seasoned trainers.

Consider enrolling in online courses from reputable and qualified training companies.

Not only will you get up-to-date information, but you’ll also benefit from the wealth of experience and knowledge of the instructors. And you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback from people who are experts in their field.

If you’re interested in learning more about the financial sector and want to get certified online courses in Accounting, Bookkeeping & Business, check out our nationally recognised accredited certificate & diploma courses. If you don’t require formal qualifications, our online short courses in Accounting and Bookkeeping may be of interest to you.

Enrolling in an online course is a great way to improve your skills and knowledge. And by following these study tips, you can be sure that you’ll get the most out of your online learning experience. Good luck!


The Australian Institute of Finance Training offers online self-paced courses in Business, Entrepreneurship and Accounting. Targeted at students looking to enter the bookkeeping industry, start or scale their own business and those looking to simply upskill. We have a suite of targeted Nationally Recognised qualifications alongside specific skill-based ‘how to’ style short courses where you can learn practical skills for everyday use.

For more information please contact us at (07) 3556 3831 or via email at [email protected].