Tips for Online Learning

Here are tips to help you be successful while learning online.

Communicate Often

Stay Organized

  • Take the time to put together the schedule and expectations for each of your classes next week. Check Blackboard for updates to your syllabus.
  • Prioritize your work. What due dates are coming up first? Make a smart decision about how to best spend your time. Block off times in your schedule to focus on specific courses. 

Take Care of Yourself

  • Stay healthy by getting adequate rest, nutrition and exercise.
  • Contact your health provider or NIU Health Services if you are feeling ill.
  • Keep a growth mindset as you adapt to new circumstances. Your success has as much to do with your effort as it has to do with your ability.
  • Monitor your self-talk and stay positive.

Manage Your Environment

  • Schedule specific times in your day to dedicate to studying or participating in your online class. Check with your faculty to see if you are expected to participate in live Collaborate or Teams sessions.
  • Consider using the "Do Not Disturb" function on your devices or a lockdown browser on your computer when you are trying to manage distraction.
  • Find a space that is comfortable and allows you to focus. This can be your home base for coursework.

Stay Engaged

  • Communicate regularly with your faculty for updates.
  • Don't forget to call, text and message friends, family and classmates.
  • Take your student organization meetings into Microsoft Teams or create a group chat to stay in touch.

Ask For Help

  • Need tech support? Make a Search the IT Service Portal Contact the Service Desk.
  • If you need learning accommodations, you can request help from the Disability Resource Center.
  • Contact your faculty for resources specific to your courses.


Watch More Online Learning Tips

Check out these quick videos from NIU faculty, staff, and students for additional tips for success.

Extend grace to yourself and others and remember that we're all in this together.

Put your phone on silent so you’re not interrupted or tempted to answer text messages.

Communicate if you have any questions. Your instructors are available to you.

Don’t wait until the end of the week and keep in touch with your instructor.

Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. Put on there anything you need to work on and when you need to work on it.

Just like an in-person course, schedule when you’ll be completing your homework.

Work with whatever you’ve got, but create a separate space that you can dedicate to learning.

Do your best to keep up, or even ahead if possible, with assignment due dates for your class.

Create a weekly schedule to help you stay focused and engaged in the course.

Stay engaged with your classmates and professors and help each other. Huskies helping Huskies!

Do your homework on a regular schedule as if you would for an in-person course.

List what tasks you're going to target completing but also balance time for relaxation.

Be sure your writing is professional. Think about your logistics. Be aware of noise.

If you have any questions about expectations, reach out and ask your instructor. Stay flexible.

Take every opportunity that you have to communicate with your professor.

Take blocks of time to do your work and pace yourself throughout the day.

Set a period of time with no distractions and stick with it.

Have something original to say, add something new to the conversation.

Include times to complete your work and meet with your friends virtually.

Glitches happen…be flexible and smile. Things often don't go as planned and that's okay.

See visually what you need to do each week. Keep a daily planner.

Pick a spot that will be your study area and eliminate distractions in that space.

Look for posts from your instructors, email, and how to submit assignments.

Keep as consistent as possible and use your planner.

Before going to bed, read something that helps you relax.

Make a to-do list for the week with what you plan to accomplish and visualize your success.

Stay up-to-date on what’s going on in your class and reach out to your classmates.

If you feel like you need more resources, reach out to your instructor.

Go for a walk or use any kind of physical activity that will increase your energy and reduce stress.

Extend grace to yourself and others and remember that we're all in this together.

Remember you can still have a study group online. Remember you can do this and go Huskies!


Do you have an additional tip for success learning online that you'd like to share? Record a video of yourself and email a link to keeplearning@niu.edu.

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