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Basic skills all online students need to know

There’s more to online learning than meets the eye. There are priorities to manage, deadlines to hit and new and unusual digital tools to master. And in order to nail these, there are a few basic skills all online students need to know while studying.

We’ve rounded up our top four along with some tips to help you succeed.

Time management

There’s nothing like having the freedom to study at your own pace, at any time during the day – which also means finding the right amount of time to get good work done.  

Study becomes part of every online student’s routine just like going to the gym, work and even cooking. Planning is the key to good time management so be sure you fit in what you want and need to get done and allocate enough time for it all.

And get detailed on those plans – schedule lunch, socialising and yes, even possible distractions. This will ward off unnecessary stress and help you prioritise. Just try it, take 30 minutes tomorrow to plan out your day, trust us, it works.


Study takes time. New careers, bachelor or master degrees do not happen overnight – they are the outcome of hard work. But in the middle of it all, it can be easy to lose sight of why you started, which is where motivation steps in to help you persevere.

Keep those motivation levels high by remembering why you started in first place. If it’s to wear that cap and gown, put a picture of it on your fridge, that way every time you open the door to procrastinate with cheese – your motivation will be staring you right in the face.


Online learning is all about socialising. Whether it is on a social network, through discussion in your online classroom, email, Skype – the list goes on.

So to really succeed in the online learning environment, students need to ramp up their digital communications skills.

Networking is kind of like gardening, you do a little bit each day and then all of a sudden you have a whole bunch of new resources. Making connections with your online teachers and fellow students will help you with study but also form important industry connections for when you finish your degree.

If you’re not sure how to break the ice online, our tip is to start off by commenting on a few posts or status updates online to spark a conversation – then watch it grow from there.

Goal setting

Motivation and goal setting are very similar, but there are two vital components to defining a goal that makes this point valid:

  • Make your goal specific – it should be measurable and have an end.
  • Make your goals realistic – make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

One way to do this is to break your goal up in chunks. We’re lucky with online study, you can make your goals as big as passing a teaching period to getting an HD on an assessment.

So how do you stick to the goal? Tell a friend, family member and work colleague. They will no doubt ask about how you’re going with your studies and there’s nothing like extra support to keep you kicking goals.

If you need support brushing up on these basic skills, get in touch with our Student Advisors, they’re around 9am-9pm weekdays and 10am-6pm weekends.