How to Be A Successful Online Learner

Jun 5, 2021

There’s never been a better time to use the online resources at your fingertips to build up your knowledge, develop your skills and advance your career. In this post, we share top tips on how to be a sccessful online learner.

According to research, 85% of learners report their online learning experience to be better than traditional classroom learning. As such, microlearning is 17% more effective than traditional classroom learning. Microlearning is what’s going on during the current pandemic situation worldwide. It’s the breaking up of large chunks of information into smaller ones. 

Absorbing information in the form of small chunks helps learners learn it better. And even that, in their own time and pace. However, as with everything else in life, e-learning has its pros and cons. Despite its flexibility and convenience, online learning from the comforts of homes has its downside. Not every learner can adjust well to it. 

There are many problems to deal with when it comes to online learning. Connectivity issues and difficulty adjusting to the online mode are just the tips of the iceberg. However, there are solutions for all those problems, too. Solutions that you, as a learner, will need to implement in your online learning. To do that, the more you know yourself, the better.

When do you learn best? What techniques help you memorise learned material? Where do you feel you learn best? How can you learn more effectively? Gauging all such factors is the initial step to become a successful online learner.

Not feeling among those 85% learners whose online learning experience is better? Keep reading to find out some tips and strategies you can employ to become a successful online learner.

What Makes a Successful Online Learner

Before delving deep into tips and strategies for becoming a successful online learner, let’s consider what it means to be one. Here are some of the characerstics of a successful online learner:

  1. You’re self-disciplined. You have no problem getting out of bed and setting your day’s tasks in order before attending online classes.
  2. You have excellent communication skills that help you convey your queries and doubts to your instructors even if it’s online and not face-to-face. Read: 6 effective communication tips.
  3. You have excellent time management skills. You have a set routine and you stick to it. Read: Time management tips when studying
  4. You’re self-motivated to learn, even though it might not feel the same as learning in traditional ways that you’ve been accustomed to most of your life. 
  5. You possess perseverance, to go about the flexible albeit hectic task of attending online sessions; sit at one spot for a couple of hours, and focus on a monitor screen while taking down notes, etc. 
  6. You can learn independently in cases where, for instance, there isn’t enough time and/or opportunity to have all your queries answered.
  7. You’ve got the technical know-how necessary for online learning. 
  8. You stay on track and cope well with the stress that might come along with online learning. Read: Stress management tips for students.

If you can’t relate to any or most of these characteristics that make a successful online learner, the following tips and strategies to becoming one might help.

Tips and Strategies to Become A Successful Online Learner

  1. Develop a routine

Even though it might sound like an overstatement, it’s very important to create and follow a routine. You’re more likely to succeed in online learning if you follow a set schedule. Allocate a time of the day for reading; another one for assignments, and so on. That way, you will not only stay on track but will invite less stress knowing you’ve completed your tasks in time.

  1. Mental and physical health check

Nothing feels good in life when you’re sick, in any way. Before you set out to be a successful online learner, make sure you’re mental and physical health is in order. Have a good diet plan, for, despite its flexibility and other perks, online learning can sometimes feel like headaches, too. If you’re under stress, try to relieve that stress before committing yourself to online education fully.

  1. Create a comfortable study space

Research has shown a learner will learn well if their environment is suitable enough. If being surrounded by colorful objects puts you in a better mental state, create a study space accordingly. Like working under bright lights? Bring in a few lamps to your desk. In short, create a study space you know you’ll be comfortable in, for that supports effective learning. This also involves creating a distraction-free study space.

If you have many siblings around, for instance, set up your study space in a corner of the house you know isn’t as noisy as the rest. Keep in mind online learning often involves being on camera during lectures. The less you’re interrupted during online classes, the more focused you’ll remain during them.

  1. Stay organised

In the long run, organisational skills are highly beneficial. They help you stay on track, too. Organise not just your schedule and study plan, but also your study space, study materials, etc. An organised space helps in creating an organised mind. Furthermore, the less organised you are, the more time you’ll have to spend finding notes, for instance. That might detract you from the task of learning itself. So, stay organised!

Other Useful Tips to Become a Successful Online Learner

When you think you’ve checked the above strategies off your list, try implementing the following tips into your online learning:

Tip # 1 – Are you a morning person? A night owl? Figure out when you learn best and pick that time for completing assignments, projects, reading up, etc.

Tip # 2 – Have some fluids set aside during online classes, such as tea. As long as your instructors don’t mind you having a snack or two during online sessions, have at it! If such a thing helps you stay powered up, of course.

Tip # 3 – Try to refrain from doing anything physically demanding before your online sessions. For if you do, you might feel tired once online classes begin. In the long run, this might negatively affect your online learning experience. 

Tip # 4 – If your online classes begin much later into the day (such as during evenings), take short naps before the classes. That way, you might feel less exhausted during an online lecture. 

Tip # 5 – In case you’re a professional taking online courses to apply to a new job during this financially challenging pandemic time, you can browse newly-posted and/or saved jobs on LinkedIn. Evaluate their requirements. See if your online learning experience is imparting you any of those requirements. If not, you can work on learning those things, too.

Tip # 6 – Last but not least, try to not let online learning overwhelm you, for it might seem as such at times. Remind yourself where you’re there, to begin with, and take it one learning curve at a time.


At the end of each day, no one knows your learner needs and wants better than you. Assess yourself, those needs, cater to them and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful online learner. Figure out external as well as internal factors that might facilitate your online learning. And most of all, keep your mental and physical health in check. Good luck!

Before you go, be sure to check out our online course on How To Get A Graduate Job.

Author Bio:

Halian Ronaldo is a content writer at ResumeCroc who has written hundreds of articles to assist students’ career life. He is managing a growing team of writers who love to help students with their academics. As for his hobbies, he likes to read articles, newspapers, and magazines to keep himself updated.

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