Tips for tackling an online course


So you have heard about this “thing” called an “online course” or maybe you have even enrolled in one but you have no idea the best way to tackle it. You don’t know what steps you should take before starting your course or what techniques you should use during your course. We have put together an outline of how to tackle an online course in this blog post.

One of the most important things you should think about before the start date of your course is do you have all the software and hardware requirements. This is often overlooked and only when you start your course do you realise that something is amiss and this holds you back. Make sure you have a device, whether it be a laptop, tablet or mobile device that has a stable internet connection and that you have access to this device for the duration of your course. Make sure you have the correct browser to view your course. We suggest to our students to use Google Chrome for their studies as we have found it works best with our Online Classroom.

Make sure you try login and navigate around before your course starts. Make sure you know how to access your course, have a look around and familiarise yourself with the environment.

Do not presume anything, most students have the perception that an online course is easier. This is not true, online courses have been designed to be just as demanding as traditional courses. Study at least 6 hours of work a week at a minimum.

When your course starts read through everything. This may sound silly, but go through everything in your course and not just the graded assignments. The courses have been designed to help prepare your for your graded assignments, even if something doesn’t have a grade attached to it, do it.

Do all the self-test tests. As mentioned above this will help prepare you for your final graded assignments. They might seem tedious but they are highly important as you can gauge your understanding of a learning unit and whether you need to go over a section once again.

Most of the communication that you will be doing will be in text, get comfortable communicating through text. Whether you are participating in a forum with your fellow students or asking a question to your lecturer, this is all done via text. Be prepared to write and read allot when doing an online course.

Be proactive and participate. If there is something you don’t understand contact your lecturer. Don’t sit back thinking that to answer will come to you or struggle through it on your own. Don’t be afraid to participate in the student and course forums. If there is a question or topic that you need help with your lecturer and fellow students are there to help you. There is no such thing as a silly question.

Log into your course every day. Since most courses are designed for you do at least six hours of work each week it would not be wise to skip a day. Create a schedule for yourself or a weekly checklist, stick to it and manage your time. Decide for yourself how many hours you can study a day and create goals for yourself both intermediate and major. These goals should help keep procrastination at bay.

One of the most important things I can leave you with is don’t assume an online course is easier than a traditional course. Read through everything and participate in everything. Don’t be afraid to contact your fellow students and ask any questions you may have to your lecturer. Follow your timetable and create your own schedules. Finally, enjoy the experience of discovering a new way of learning.

Take a look at our blog post: for other study techniques that may help you to do even better in your courses.

Good luck!

Written by: Justine van Gysen