Welcome to the Central Ohio Technical College’s retention guide
to online learning!
We feel it’s important to highlight characteristics an
online learner should possess.
- Are you a self-directed learner?
- Are you comfortable asking questions?
- Can you stay motivated?
If you answered yes, then you should be successful taking classes
Taking classes online can be an adjustment; however, with a
deeper understanding of the best practices of learning online,
you should successfully engage, learn, and complete your
Here are some best practices and approaches to being a successful
1. Create a time-management Plan
Being an online student requires a lot of self-discipline. As
most courses do not have a meeting time, students must find time
to complete all coursework within a week. Manage your time but
review the weekly tasks as soon as the course opens. Pick a
specific day and time that you can complete your work, just like
in a face-to-face classroom. Before you start class, make sure
you meet the technical requirements so you can start and keep on
2. Be thoughtful and ask questions in online discussions
Your interactions with other students and the instructor will be
in the discussion area of your course, which allows you to learn
other people’s interpretations and understanding of the material.
Be thoughtful in your responses and think deeply before posting.
This will allow you to have more meaningful conversations. Be
thoughtful in your questions and take time to write them clear
3. Stay motivated to learn
You may not have any physical contact with your instructor or
classmates, which can make it difficult to stay motivated.
Participate in class, ask questions, and keep your eye on the
prize. Identify your motivator to keep you working towards
completing the course. The more involved and engaged you are with
online discussions and assignments, the easier it is to stay
motivated in class
4. Make connections with fellow students
Being a part of an online community of students can be beneficial
for everybody. Students can learn a lot from other students along
with the instructor through their discussions. Read your
discussions in your course and interact with other students
through responses and comments. Ask and answer questions and
consider sharing contact information with each other.