Studying and learning over the internet is nothing new, but its advantages have really been highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdown.

Successful online learning, however, requires students to be self-motivated. Whether it’s high school or university courses that are being studied online, students should have (or develop) the following skills for best results:

1. Time management

Probably the most important skill, as self-study requires you to manage your time effectively and be disciplined with your schedule.

2. Motivation

Motivation is just as important as time management. One of the advantages of online learning is that it is more flexible and can be done comfortably at home. But, because there is less direct contact with the school or teacher, students need to be disciplined, self-motivated and able to work independently.

3. Communication skills

One of the biggest differences between online and face to face learning is communication – the teacher is less likely to pick up on non-verbal cues from students (even on video classes) so students must learn to communicate effectively and ask for help when needed.

4. Technical skills

Online learning students should be comfortable with using a computer, spreadsheets, word processing documents and the internet. They should also be familiar with video conferencing software such as Zoom that is used to hold online classes.

5. Reading and writing

In a digital environment, both teaching and learning are mostly non-verbal. So, students should develop their writing and reading skills – especially considering that much of the written classwork is provided via internet articles and digital textbooks.

How to study successfully online

In addition to all of the above skills, online learning is most successful when students have a good study environment. Ideally, this should be an uncluttered space dedicated to learning, where they can keep any resources they need. The learning environment should be quiet and free from distractions and include a desk or table and a comfortable chair.

Online learning is the future – especially in a post-COVID world where social distancing has affected every aspect of daily life, including school. If your school offers online learning, there are many advantages. With enough motivation and self-discipline, you’re sure to succeed!