Here’s a myth – online learning is easier than classes taken in traditional brick and mortar schools. While taking an online course may be a little less stressful because of the time flexibility it offers plus a few other advantages, the curriculum itself is just as comprehensive as the ones being offered in a traditional learning environment.

In fact, online courses might be a bit more challenging for students who are used to attending classes in traditional schools, given the computer skills required to easily navigate throughout the course site and the absence of a mentor to provide real-time feedback and reminders to students. And while it is one great alternative method to learning, online courses are not meant for everyone.

If you are considering taking an online course, it will be good to evaluate yourself first and see if you have what the characteristics needed to successfully complete the course before you decide to sign up for one.


Ask yourself, how persistent are you? Online learners who are highly determined are most likely to succeed in completing their course. These are the ones who are not easily dismayed when they encounter technical issues or difficulty understanding certain lessons. They reach out to their instructors and fellow students and make sure that they meet their deadlines.

Effective Time Management

Having effective time management skills is necessary to avoid procrastinating. With the time flexibility offered by online learning, it is so easy for students to put off their study time and this can affect their ability to meet deadlines.

To ensure that you are able to manage your time well, check your course calendar and plot all the due dates in your own personal calendar or planner. Now that you know the deadlines, assign study hours for doing your coursework, so you are sure to complete your assignments on time. Check off your study blocks as you accomplish them.

Being organized is another way to ensure that you are able to manage your time well. It helps to have certain materials that will enable you to easily identify and locate your assignments, such as notebooks, binders, and folders.

Proper Communication Skills

There are several ways you can communicate with your online instructors and fellow learners. As educators plan and create effective online courses, these are designed to contain tools that will help you collaborate, such as email, discussion forums, chat, and VOIPs. You may also opt to coordinate through text messaging. It is important to use these tools whenever you are working on your assignments and need clarification.

Always remember that your course instructors are here to help you to succeed, so never hesitate to reach out to them whenever you have any questions or issues.

Whenever you are communicating with your instructors and fellow students, always maintain a polite and professional tone. The absence of facial expressions and body language that are usually helpful in getting your point across during face-to-face exchanges makes it all the more important to ensure that you use appropriate language during your online communications.

It is ideal to write in complete and grammatically correct sentences. Be detailed, whenever applicable, and include a subject line that describes the purpose of your message. Check your email and course messages regularly so you can acknowledge and respond to messages in a timely manner.

A Quiet Space for Studying

Having a quiet place where you are away from distractions will help you get focused, understand your lessons, and get your projects and assignments done faster. Designate a study space that is away from family, roommates, television, and other things that might attract your attention while studying.

Whenever you are studying online, make sure that you are not doing something else, such as checking your social media account, texting, or playing games on your computer. Treat your study time very seriously. Just as you would not be available during actual class lectures in a traditional brick and mortar school, so should you be unavailable during your study time.

Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on creating online courses such as those offered by