Online Learning Strategies

Strategies to Foster Academic Success

Review your syllabi

Pay attention to the assignments, projects, and exams for each class to ensure that you are adhering to all course expectations and deadlines. Check your email regularly and turn on your Canvas notifications for any updates or reminders.

Use a planner

A planner can provide a roadmap to your semester and help you anticipate next steps. Writing down what you need to accomplish will help hold you accountable. Try a physical planner, an app on a mobile device, or your email calendar to create daily task lists.

Create a schedule

Design a daily schedule that connects to your values and goals. Outline specific times to review course materials, engage in online class sessions, complete your assignments, collaborate virtually with peers, practice self-care, and ask for help.

Set start dates

Plot out start dates as well as due dates for assignments and projects in your planner. What is the first step for completing this goal, and when will you start this process?

Develop study goals

Break up your time in a strategic way by mapping out when you will study for each class and topic. Consider what you want to accomplish each week and tangible actions that will help you achieve those goals.

Track your progress

At the end of your day, take a moment to reflect on your study goals and all that you have accomplished. Celebrate your successes! Small steps and frequent check-ins will assist you in getting closer and closer to meeting your goals.

Practice self-care

Remember to take some time for yourself in order to decompress and relax. Go outside and take a walk, call a friend, or implement a deep breathing exercise into your daily routine.

Allow mistakes

Learning is a process. Finding the best schedule and learning strategies that work for you may take some trial and error, so be patient with yourself as you work to find the right approach.

Give yourself breaks

When you feel your motivation fading, take a few minutes to step back from your computer screen and stretch. Use a routine such as spending 25 minutes studying followed by a break that lasts 5 minutes. Return to your study space to begin the cycle again.

Find your prime time

When are you most alert and full of energy? Try to use that time to your advantage by tackling your most difficult course material or project for the day.

Find your space

Identify a space that you can dedicate to academics—preferably one that you do not associate with sleep, like a bed. Having a dedicated area such as a desk, a table, or a kitchen counter will keep you more focused on the task at hand.

Prepare your space

Have everything that you need before you dive into your studies: a reusable water bottle, a healthy snack, your textbooks and notes, and any required technology. Test out your internet connection and access to materials to ensure that you are connected.

Set boundaries

If you are interacting with family, friends, or roommates throughout the day, have a conversation with them about the times that you need to be fully concentrating on your studies. Consider posting your daily schedule where everyone can see it.

Avoid distractions

Do your best to remove any elements in your study space that may be distracting: social media, TV, video games, etc. Fully focus on one thing at a time instead of attempting to multi-task.

Engage with technology

Explore online tools such as Box and Zoom, making it easy to collaborate with your peers. Using these tools throughout the semester can help you stay connected with other students in your courses.

Email professors

Use professional communication to stay in contact with instructors. Ask questions and be proactive when you encounter challenges or problems.

Keep in touch

Build a community with your peers by reaching out via Zoom, email, or Canvas for quick check-ins throughout the semester. Brainstorm ways to keep each other motivated and proactive. Within the larger group, identify an “accountability partner” who you will communicate with as you work toward academic goals.

Utilize resources

Take advantage of the various campus resources and programs available to you. Many offices offer online services.

Academic Support

@ AUAcadSupport

For more online learning strategies, visit to schedule an online Academic Coaching appointment. Academic Coaching empowers students to achieve academic goals through improved study habits and strategies. Students work with a coach to identify action steps to meet personal outcomes.