6 Tips to Succeed in Online Courses

Never, and I repeat, NEVER in my life did I imagine myself going to school online. Let alone finish my bachelor’s degree from the comfort of my home or anywhere else I wanted. It’s great but hard work. The mistake people make is thinking online courses are “easier” than normal on-campus courses. It’s the exact same thing, however, you are on your own and you have to be the boss. At first, I didn’t know where to start but over the past 2 years, I have relied on these tips to guide me in the right direction.

Below are 6 tips that have helped me succeed in my online courses!

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Build a study plan

This is so important! I can not stress it enough. On the first day, you have the ability to see your course schedule for the whole semester. I recommend writing down important due dates. Start to create a study plan based on your work schedule or personal schedule. Keep in mind that you need to give yourself extra time to learn the material, review the lectures and then do the homework.

Manage time wisely

If you can’t manage your time wisely you are going to struggle in an online course. It’s very easy to push everything till the last minute, believe me, I’ve done it, but pressuring yourself to do a weeks worth of work in one day isn’t going to do any good. You will most likely receive a lower grade than you would have if you put more time and effort. Break up your workload into small chunks with enough study breaks in between to not get overwhelmed.

Take advantage of your class discussions

Generally, there is a space in your course for class discussions. I always overlooked and ignored the discussions until about a year ago. Usually, if I am confused on a specific homework assignment I will go check the discussion section first. Why? Maybe someone else was also confused, asked a question and the instructor has already replied with the answer.

Study environment

I like to switch it up and look for new locations. Just by changing my study environment it makes me feel more creative and ready to tackle my next homework assignment. Scientists say that by varying the area in which you study helps to retain more information. Just another reason to find a cute little coffee shop to study in.


Online courses provide so MANY resources. One of them being free e-tutoring. It’s pretty neat since you can just pick a time that works for you, check which tutor is logged on and ask away. Use the resources given to you to your advantage! Most instructors like to put up extra (optional) reading or homework material for students.

Site blocker

I recommend downloading an app that blocks distracting sites that can prevent you from studying. SelfControl is an app that lets you add sites to your blacklist. You can input how long you want the sites blocked and they will only be unlocked after the timer is up.

Thanks for reading and until next time!



  1. January 17, 2018 / 1:20 PM

    Fab post! Love the tip about SelfConrol – I’m so easily distracted it’s unreal. I also love the ambiance in a coffee shop – perfect studying environment.

    • jcramirez
      January 17, 2018 / 6:30 PM

      It truly is. I get more motivated being surrounded by others who are also studying. Weird? But it works!