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10 Best Tips for Online Learning Every Student Needs to Know

It’s no secret that we’re living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way we live and work, and for many of us, that includes our education. Students are forced to switch to online learning, making it tricky to make the most out of their learning experience.

Whether you are homeschooling your children or want to continue your education during this difficult time, online learning can be a great way to stay connected and productive. However, to make the most out of your online learning experience and get desired results, you need to be smart about it.

Best Tips for Online Learning

Here are ten tips for online learning that will help you know where to start and how to make the most of your time.

1. Check system requirements

Zoom meeting on MacBook Air

The first thing you want to do is make sure your system and software are up-to-date. Preinstall required applications and have a reliable internet connection. If you use a laptop, desktop, or mobile device for online learning, check if it has all the required apps installed.

For example, some courses may require Adobe Flash Player or Microsoft Office Suite. You also want to make sure that your system allows you to open file attachments in various formats such as PDFs, MPDs, and other common files used by online educators.

If necessary, update your system’s applications and install any missing ones ahead of time so when the course starts, you can hit the ground running with no interruptions due to technical difficulties.

2. Have a clutter-free and dedicated study desk

Man taking online class in bedroom on his work desk.

Having a dedicated study space can help you stay focused when it comes to online learning.

Remove everything and anything that might distract you from studying. Clear your desk of unnecessary items, so only the essentials are there. If possible, keep this area clear even after class is over to create an environment conducive to concentration and focus on work.

3. Set a daily schedule with goals

daily schedule planner with pen and marker

To make the most out of online learning, you need to create a schedule that works well for your lifestyle. Establishing this routine will help you stay organized and on track with your goals and avoid procrastination. 

Create a daily schedule and set specific study goals each day. For example, you may want to dedicate a certain number of hours each day to coursework or break up your time into manageable chunks such as 30 minutes for reading and 45 minutes for writing.

4. Review lesson materials before starting a live online class

two students preparing for online class

This will help you better understand what will be covered during the live session and allow you to digest more information. In addition, many instructors post their lectures or recorded classes on their websites for students to watch afterward.

Taking advantage of these materials can help reinforce key concepts learned in class. Moreover, if you missed some lessons or need a refresher course, these materials can help fill gaps in your knowledge base.

5. Take part in class discussions

online Zoom class

One of the benefits of online learning is that you have more time to think about your responses before posting them in a discussion forum. Do not be afraid to ask questions; instructors and classmates are there to help.

Participation in class discussions helps develop critical thinking skills, allows students to share ideas and get feedback, and deepens understanding of the course material.

6. Plenty of light

laptop on desk in bright room for online learning tip 6

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Make sure you have plenty of light when studying to avoid eyestrain. If possible, sit by a window or use an adjustable lamp to position the light right where you need it.

Sitting in front of a bright light source such as a window can help reduce eye fatigue and improve focus. For artificial light, use white light instead of yellow since the latter is for relaxing.

Most importantly, take breaks every 40 to 60 minutes to give your eyes a rest.

7. Stay hydrated

glass of lemon water

Make sure to drink plenty of water when studying. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, and a general unwell feeling. In addition, many people find that drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee or tea helps them stay alert and focused while studying. Just be sure not to overdo it — too much caffeine can also negatively affect your health and well-being, especially your sleep.

8. Use the Pomodoro method if you get distracted easily

Pomodoro study method for online learning tip

As mentioned earlier, having a designated study area will help you focus on your work. However, there are other ways to minimize distractions as well. Pomodoro is a technique that helps break up work into manageable chunks. For example, if you get easily distracted after working for 30 minutes, take a five-minute break and then resume working. This system can help you stay on track while studying and avoid procrastination.

9. Stretch and move around to keep blood flowing and stay awake

woman stretching for study break

This is another way to combat fatigue and eyestrain. Taking frequent breaks during your study time allows you to relax both physically and mentally, improving focus when you return to work.

Practice some light stretching exercises or take a quick walk to get your body moving. You can try standing straight and keeping your hands at your sides, then slowly raising them until they’re parallel with the floor. Hold for a few seconds before lowering them again. Repeat five times.

10. Reward yourself

raspberry and blueberry cheesecake

It’s a good idea to reward yourself when you finish your work. For example, if you study for four hours, take a break and treat yourself to something special like going out with friends or watching an episode of your favorite show. Moreover, setting goals and then achieving them can give you a sense of accomplishment and increase your motivation to continue studying.


Online learning can be a great way to continue your education during busy times. By following these ten tips, you can make the most out of your learning experience and develop the skills necessary for success.