10 Tips for Learning Online A Guide for UTSA Students

Tip #1 - Get organized.

  • Set up a calendar, either paper or digital, and chart out all activities for your week.
  • Make sure all of the items you need to do your work are together and stay together: computer, books, paper, pen, earbuds and anything else to keep yourself comfortable.
  • Set up a comfortable workspace in a location that makes sense for how you learn. Need silence? Make sure you have noise-filtering headphones. Need noise? Keep a radio or stereo nearby.
  • Create folders to keep materials for each class together.

Tip #2 - Manage your time.

  • Create a routine and stick to it! It's easy to get behind if you don't have set times to do your work.
  • Put your assignment deadlines and exam dates in a calendar.
  • Set reminders to start working on your assignments or study for exams well ahead of the deadlines.
  • Don't forget to schedule time for yourself, but don't procrastinate.

Tip #3 - Communicate.

  • Check your course announcements and email every day.
  • Tell your faculty member if you are unable to be online or unable to complete an assignment.
  • If you are working in a group, stay in touch. Make sure you know your role in the group and don't get behind.
  • Participate in online discussions.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Faculty are there to support you and help you find the services you need.

Tip #4 - Learn the technology.

  • Take the time to learn the different technologies your professors are using before you need it.
  • Download software and update your computer or tablet with the latest software.
  • Complete the tutorials for the programs you'll be using.
  • Practice using presentation software live if you can.
  • Make sure you can find recordings, instructions and materials posted by your instructor.
  • Know where to find help.

Tip #5 - Brush up on your writing skills.

  • Use grammar and spell check on everything you write.
  • Look for writing tutorials and guides (The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a good place to start.)
  • Find templates for the paper format your faculty requires.
  • In an online environment, it's very important that you write professionally and adhere to online etiquette.

Tip #6 - Understand how you learn best.

  • If you like to see things visually, seek out the resources that will be help you - charts, graphs, videos, etc.
  • If you learn best by listening, find podcasts and recordings.
  • If you learn best when you take notes, you can do this while reading or watching videos.
  • If you need quiet, find a quiet place to study.
  • If you need music, experiment with what genre works best for you.
  • The key is to find what works for you.

Tip #7 - Take it one step at a time.

  • Don't let yourself be overwhelmed when you look at your workload.
  • Start with what's due first.
  • If you have time, tackle the small assignments first. This will give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Learn one tech tool at a time. Start with communication tools.
  • Know where to find help.

Tip #8 - Don't compare yourself to others.

  • We all start at different places in our education.
  • We all learn differently and at different paces.
  • Don't be hard on yourself if others seem to be ahead of you.
  • Only you know what's best for you. Listen to others, but trust your instincts.

Tip #9 - Ask questions.

  • If you don't understand something, ask!
  • Touch base with your instructor if you are confused.
  • Ask a classmate if you missed something.
  • Search for answers online.
  • Ask your parents, a trusted elder, or a sibling.
  • Know your campus resources.
  • Do not let your questions go unanswered.

Tip #10 - Take care of yourself.

  • You can't do your best if you are not at your best.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Get exercise, even if it's just going for a stroll around the block.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Talk to others if you're feeling overwhelmed.
  • Know and use your academic, financial and emotional resources.
  • Don't procrastinate. Putting things off just makes you feel worse.

You've got this!

Created By
Shelley Howell


Created with images by Jacqueline Kelly - "From the Creatives Working collection. Full collection at kellybrito.com" • Bram Naus - "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. -Steve Jobs" • Jon Tyson - "untitled image" • Christian Wiediger - "untitled image" • Domenico Loia - "Ugmonk . Grovemade" • Tom Rogerson - "Writings of Ulleri" • Hans-Peter Gauster - "You’ve got your work cut out for you." • Bruno Nascimento - "untitled image" • Glenn Carstens-Peters - "untitled image" • Jon Tyson - "untitled image" • Tim Goedhart - "Out of everything optional, this one is least optional! This wall is found in the center of Amsterdam!" • Marc Najera - "A silhouette jumping in the sunrise"