How to Be a Successful Online College Student

November 30, 2023

Jose Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas who earned a bachelor’s degree in business delivered online.
Jose Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas who earned a bachelor’s degree in business delivered online.

There are many benefits to taking college classes online. First and foremost, you can access your courses from anywhere at any time, giving you the flexibility to fit your studies into your life.

But if online learning is new to you, you may wonder how to be a successful online college student. By following these online learning tips, you’ll be on your way to excelling in online programs like those offered by the University of Arkansas ONLINE.


5 Tips for Online Learning

  1. Set daily goals. There’s only so much time in a day — and likely your day is quite full. That’s why it’s important to set daily goals that are realistic for you to achieve. Whether it’s completing a reading assignment or addressing discussion questions, know your goals. When you achieve them, reward yourself in big and small ways.
  2. Create your own space. When it comes to studying online, it can be easy to get distracted. One way to minimize distractions is to have your own space. While a home office may not be possible, you can make sure you have everything you need right where you need it — even if that’s at the kitchen table. Keep your computer, textbooks and other course-related materials in one spot so you don’t have to go searching for them. You’ll minimize distractions — and frustrations.
  3. Take and review notes. One of the best ways to succeed in the online environment is to take good notes. Whether you take notes by hand or type them, find a system that works best for you. But don’t just take notes and forget about them. Review them often to reinforce what you’re learning. Make flashcards, develop mnemonics — again, choose whatever is ideal for you.
  4. Be engaged. From asking your professors questions to joining a study group, one of the most successful online learning strategies is to be engaged in your learning community. Find ways to interact with your classmates and your professors. Ask for help when you need it. Be active in discussion forums. Engaging in your learning community will not only help you do well in your courses — it will also make studying online more fun.
  5. Take care of yourself. Whether you’re taking classes online or in person, college can be stressful. One of the best study tips to follow is to take care of yourself. Eat foods that nourish you and give you energy. Drink plenty of water. Take regular breaks. Go for a walk and get fresh air. Spend time with family and friends. And if you need extra support, don’t be afraid to reach out to professionals.


What are some of the resources available for online learning?

If you want more tips on how to be a successful online college student, explore the University of Arkansas ONLINE blog, The Online Learner. You’ll find information about U of A’s programs as well as online learning tips and how to succeed in online classes.

It can also be helpful to read online student success stories to learn what successful online learning strategies work well for these accomplished students.

Online Learner Blog Home


Online Degree Programs

University of Arkansas ONLINE programs are designed by academic departments on the Fayetteville campus to offer you another path to earning a degree from a top-tier public research university. Online programs give you the flexibility to balance family, work and school responsibilities. You do not have to put your life on hold while working toward a better one.

Program Page