Online Learning Success Strategies: Part 1

By Jon Bottari, M.Ed. – Adjunct Faculty

This first post by Jon Bottari, M.Ed., launches a four-part series of success tips designed to help students get the most out of their online learning experience.

CTU Online Degrees - Success StrategiesThe term “non-traditional student” once referred to students taking online courses.  Today, though, the online platform is becoming the new tradition, thanks to factors like convenience, cost, and easy access. In fact, a recent study by Ambient Insight projected that more than 25 million students will take some or all of their classes online by 2015. And that kind of growth is understandable, when nearly 60 percent of undergraduates said they learned more in classes with online components. 

Getting the most out of this new learning tradition can be challenging for students. As a former online student, as well as an online instructor, I’ve found there a number of helpful ways to approach distance learning.  I’ve developed a list of 12 success strategies to help overcome some of the obstacles an online student can face.  In fact, many of these tips are applicable in all learning traditions. Today, we’ll focus on the first three strategies.

Be Attentive During Chat Sessions
An effective online platform should have a live instructor leading the chat.  Be sure to use that time effectively.  While there, focus on what is being taught and try to avoid distractions.  This means you should put down that spatula and turn off the TV!  If you can’t participate in the live session, be sure to view the archived version with pen and paper ready to take notes.

Set Study Goals
Your approach to learning should be no different than any other goal you want to achieve. When planning your weekly schedule, be sure to plan your study times in advance and set goals to accomplish within the allotted time.  Structure your day or week around when, and how long, you will study.  Whether it’s 20 minutes during your lunch break or waking up before the chaos of filling bowls of Fruity Pebbles, you might be surprised by the amount of free time you find when structuring your weekly schedule.

Limit Your Study Time
Simply put, don’t overdo it. By segmenting your study time in 50 minute increments with 10 minute breaks, you can avoid study burnout.  A break can leave you feeling refreshed and your mind will have time to refocus on doing your best work as you begin your next segment.

Many of these tips will build upon each other.  You’ll find, for example, that if you are setting your study goals properly, it will be easier to limit your study time. Here’s to your ability to succeed at your educational goals!

Stay tuned for part two of my online learning success strategies series.

Image credit: Flickr/Oliver Quinlan


CTU Faculty - Jon BottariAs an adjunct professor of general education at Colorado Technical University, Jon Bottari, M.Ed., helps prepare new students for academic and career success. He earned his Master of Education degree with a specialization in Leadership of Educational Organizations from American Intercontinental University and serves as CTU’s Director of University Operations. See why he’s in.


Copyright © 2016 Colorado Technical University (CTU). All rights reserved. No information may be duplicated without CTU's permission. The CTU logo is a registered trademark of Career Education Corporation. CTU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. Programs vary by location and modality; see catalog for details. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. See the Accreditation & Licensure section for information on the agencies that approve and regulate the school's programs, including relevant complaint procedures here. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures below.

Privacy Statement Legal Terms and Conditions Student Disclosures Sitemap Student Safety Contact Us

 (855) 230-0555

Terms and Conditions By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive text messages from Colorado Tech via its mobile text message provider.  You may opt out of receiving messages by texting the word STOP to 94576, or simply reply with the word STOP to any text message you receive from Colorado Tech. While CEC or its mobile text message provider will not charge end users for receiving/responding to promotional messages, depending on the terms of your mobile phone plan, you may incur a cost from your mobile service carrier to receive and respond to any promotional text messages (standard messaging and data rates/fees and other charges may apply).  Charges will appear on your mobile phone bill or will be deducted from pre-paid amounts.  Current participating/supported carriers are: Alltel, AT&T, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular South, Cincinnati Bell, Cricket, Element Wireless, Golden State Cellular, iWireless, Metro PCS, Nextel, nTelos, Plateau Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Viaero Wireless, Virgin, and more.×