With great flexibility comes great responsibility: How to succeed in your online courses

By Kate Schellenberg

Photo by Unplash

Studying online means you get to listen to lectures, do readings and take notes whenever and wherever you want. Seems like the dream, right? Unfortunately, many students find having complete freedom to choose their own hours actually makes scheduling that time harder.

It’s a bit like watching Netflix: You have the freedom to choose whatever show you want to watch, but that freedom usually makes picking something overwhelming. Instead of choosing a show, you spend an hour scrolling through titles before giving up and going to bed.

If students are having trouble figuring out what to watch on Netflix, imagine the trouble they might have with managing their online studies. Between choosing when to study, deciding when to watch the lectures and learning how to take notes, studying online can seem daunting. To help with this, the Centre for Student Academic Support and Teaching and Learning Services have collaborated to create a free online module that gives students tools to better manage their time and study habits.

Here’s a preview of just a few of the topics covered:

Practical time management tools

In this module, there are downloadable timesheets, goal setting templates, printable calendars and first-hand tips from students on how to manage your time effectively. There are only 168 hours in a week, use them wisely.

Studying environment 

Did you know that your study location affects how much info you will retain? Learn about all the locations on campus that you can take advantage of for studying, including some insider knowledge on rarely-used study spots. This module also includes tips on how previous students were able to overcome distractions.

How to study

Learn about a method of studying called “Intense Studying Sessions,” a proven way to learn new information.

How to take notes

There is no excuse for not taking notes when you study online, since you can always pause and rewind. But are the notes you’re taking any good? This module includes a note-taking method that will improve your writing skills.


Did you know that you have access to writing consultants who will help you with your papers? Or that there is counselling available on campus? This module gives you a list of relevant resources that are offered to online students to help them succeed.

This online module requires just an hour of your time and will help set you up for success in the coming semester. Yes, it is one more thing to study online, but you probably would have been wasting that hour scrolling through Netflix, anyway.

If you’re interested, please click here to register.