How to Learn Online: A Students’ Guide to Remote Learning

photo of woman studying anatomy

Photo by Retha Ferguson on
It isn’t the same as being at school. You don’t have the same kind of interaction with your friends and your teachers. It’s mostly just you working on your own. And things sometimes get tough.
For whatever reason, you’re learning online. You might not like it very much, but it is what it is, and you have to make the best of it.
Follow the simple guidelines below to help you survive online teaching and who knows, you might even end up enjoying it after all…
1. Attitude
Having the right attitude is important. Put aside your feelings and negativity and try to be positive about learning online.
2. Create a Routine
Many schools will not ask you to follow a set timetable. This is because we know you have to share devices with your family and it isn’t always possible to attend virtual lessons at set times.
Nonetheless, you should spend some time setting up a weekly schedule of what you are going to do when. Be sure to leave time for meals, exercise, family time, playing with your pet, and just some time to relax and goof off.
3. Claim a Space
If you can, claim a space where you can work and learn online. This should be away from distractions. Try to make sure this area is not too cluttered and that you have only what you need nearby.
4. Take Breaks
Take time to stretch, walk around, play with your dog, or help with the chores. Stay away from chatting on your phone until your break. Be careful, though, about swapping one screen for another on your breaks – you need to be totally away from your screen for at least some of your break time.
Taking breaks like this will help you to focus better when you come back to your work.
5. Use Paper!
Learning online doesn’t mean you have to do everything online. Have some paper nearby to take notes, write down instructions, etc.
boy sitting by the table while using hand sanitizer
Photo by Julia M Cameron on
6. Put Away Your Phone
This is not to say that you shouldn’t be chatting with your friends. Far from it. It’s actually very important that you maintain contact with your friends. But your phone is a huge distraction. Put it away or turn it off until you are on a break.


7. Follow Instructions Carefully
You need to get used to getting instructions in different ways. Usually, you will get written instructions and then verbal explanations. With e-learning, this will often be either one or the other. Get used to reading especially text instructions carefully.
8. Make Notes
You make notes in class. You also need to make them online. They don’t have to be typed, you can use your regular notebook.


9. Lists and Calendars
Create to-do lists. Ideally with dates. Get used to using a calendar to record important dates.
You might also want to chat with your parents and siblings and to add their calendars if they need to attend meetings or have things booked which will affect your learning times.
10. Asking and Not Hiding Away
If you’re not sure, ask your teacher. Or ask a friend.

If things are going wrong and you’re lost, don’t hide away and try to pretend it will all go away. Rather speak up and ask for help.

11. Honesty and Integrity
There are lots of ways to cheat and to get around having to work too hard. But this is not going to be good for your learning in the long run. Rather do what you need to do yourself. Even if you do struggle, you will be better off working honestly and independently.


12. Games
So you’re online. And when you’re online you game, right? Wrong. There is a time for learning and a time for gaming. And you know how you get swept away when you’re playing an awesome game. Before you know it, hours have passed. Leave the games for later as a reward to yourself.
13. Save and Backup
You will be submitting your work digitally. Set up a filing system, name your files properly, and back them up to a cloud service like OneDrive or Google Drive. Just in case!
14. Slowly But Surely
Don’t panic. Work slowly but surely to get your work done. It might seem, at times, that it is all too much – but if you work slowly and steadily you will be surprised at how quickly it goes.
And once you get used to working this way, it goes more and more quickly.
15. Study Groups
We all know that one of the best ways to learn is together with friends. This doesn’t have to stop when you’re learning online. You can easily set up study groups to discuss the work you’re doing in class and to help one another to understand tricky content and skills.
You can even set up collaborative notes online and have everyone contribute.
16. Eat and Drink
Your brain needs fuel. And you’re still growing. Keep a steady supply of HEALTHY snacks and some water nearby.
17. No Music
I know you’re convinced that listening to music helps you to focus. But your brain just doesn’t work this way. Listening to music while you’re concentrating is a distraction. Rather leave it for your break times.
18. Balance
School is just one part of your life. Take the time to look after yourself and your family.



Good luck and happy learning.



Share your thoughts:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s