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Strategy 1: Reflect on how you learn best

One of the key characteristics about online learning is that how you learn is to a significant extent up to you. This means you need to reflect on how you learn best. For more information, check out this video.

Strategy 2: Plan your learning

Planning your learning is important, and it is advisable to set times in your calendar when you will be working on the course. Think about what works best for your learning and your current schedule. For more ideas, check out this video.

Strategy 3: Use a learning diary

It is important to put whatever you find in an online course into the context of your own situation. To do this, and to avoid getting lost in all the material and discussions, you can create a learning diary. The Learning Diary should be a collection of all elements from the course relevant to your own context. A good Learning Diary will provide you with a summary of the course at a later stage and focus your attention on those areas that are especially relevant to you.

For more information, check out the different examples on this Sutori page, as well as this presentation:

Strategy 4: Build a personal learning network

In most MOOCs, learning doesn’t just happen via the course content, but more importantly by connecting to and drawing from the library of experiences, views, and practices that the multitude of participants bring to the course. Ideally, through participation in the course, you will build or extend your personal learning network online. For more details on this, see this video.

Strategy 5: Find support when you need it

The team behind each course is usually very small, making it difficult to respond to questions in a timely manner. Therefore, you will always be better off trying to find an answer yourself, then directing your question to your peers. Only if neither of these methods has yielded a solution should you go to the course team for support. For more details on how to find support, check out this video.

Credits and further learning

These five strategies are based on the short, self-paced Five Strategies for Learning Online mini-course on the School Education Gateway, released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. If you want to look at these strategies in more detail, we recommend you to enrol to that course and explore its content at your convenience.