5 Tips for Succeeding with Online Courses

Online courses (also known as e-learning, distance learning, or virtual training) have become unavoidable these days, as we all know.

Whether the training is live in a webinar format or pre-recorded (archived), we'll share 5 key tips to maximize your chances of success with your online course.

Tip 1: Create a Conducive Study Environment

screaming child that prevents studying at a virtual class

One of the first challenges when taking an online course, especially for most of our team members (being parents), is recreating an environment similar to a traditional classroom setting.

Here are some recommendations for creating an optimal learning space:

  • Dedicate a quiet and comfortable place to study, ideally a private room with a desk or table. Avoid high-traffic areas.
  • Eliminate distractions as much as possible: phone on silent, TV off, computer notifications disabled, etc.
  • Have all necessary tools within reach: computer/tablet, pens, notebooks, manuals, calculator, etc.
  • Favour natural lighting and regularly air out the room to stay alert and focused.
  • For parents, have someone else present to look after your children (if applicable).

By creating this ideal learning environment, you'll replicate classroom conditions and optimize your ability to concentrate and succeed in your online course.

It's important to note that you'll need suitable tools to follow the training without interruptions or technical issues.

Tip 2: Establish a Realistic Schedule

The flexibility of distance learning is an undeniable advantage, but it can also be a trap if you don't manage your time well.

Here are some tips for establishing an effective schedule:

  • Define set time slots for studying, as if you were attending an in-person class. Ideally, choose your "peak times" when you're most productive.
  • Schedule regular study sessions of about 1-2 hours, with frequent breaks to maintain focus. Are you familiar with the 20-20-20 technique? We explain it in the blog post on "Visual Fatigue and Blue Light"
  • Set aside time to review the material, do exercises, read supplementary resources, etc.
  • Allow yourself free time! Your training should not take over your personal and professional life.

This schedule must remain realistic and respect your learning pace. Be realistic from the start to avoid discouragement.

Here is an example of a balanced schedule for an online course:

Day Morning Afternoon Evening
Monday 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Study new concepts 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Exercises 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Review
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Read supplementary resources -- --
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Participate in the discussion forum 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Write an assignment --
Thursday -- 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Study new concepts --
Friday 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Prepare for the final assessment 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Review Soirée libre
Samedi -- -- --
Dimanche -- -- --

Of course, this is just an example. Feel free to customize it as you wish!

Tip 3: Actively Participate in Interactions

"Education is not something which the teacher does, but a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being." - Book: Maria Montessori, The Child (1936), pg. 4

One of the advantages of online learning is the opportunity to easily interact with other learners and instructors.

Take advantage of it!

Here are some ways to maximize your engagement:

  • Actively participate in discussion forums: ask your questions, respond to others' inquiries, and share your knowledge.
  • Attend interactive webinars or question-and-answer sessions to explore certain topics in depth.
  • Propose or join virtual study groups to review material, help each other out, etc.
  • Collaborate on group assignments by sharing your respective strengths and learning strategies.

The more involved and connected you are to the learning community, the more motivated you'll stay and the better your chances of succeeding in your online course.

Are you a trainer who would like to teach an online class via a cutting-edge technology platform?

To learn more about our StudioCast platform, come chat with us live.


Tip 4: Practice Active Learning

Active learning means being fully engaged in the process of acquiring new skills, rather than passively receiving content.

In distance learning, it's crucial to adopt active learning techniques such as:

  • Taking detailed notes during lessons or when reading resources. Rewriting will help you retain information better.
  • Redoing exercises and examples until you fully grasp the concepts.
  • Experiment yourself by practicing the new skills acquired (case studies, projects, etc.)
  • Teaching what you've learned to others to solidify your knowledge.

Here's an example of an effective active learning method:

  1. Preparation: Read through the course material in advance.
  2. Participation: Take notes during the online sessions.
  3. After class:
    • Immediately review your notes.
    • Redo the covered exercises and examples.
    • Summarize the key concepts in writing.
  4. Application: Put your new skills into practice.
  5. Review: Regularly reread your notes and summaries.

By staying constantly engaged in the process, you'll assimilate the material much better and maximize your chances of succeeding in your online course.

Tip 5: Set Goals For Yourself And Celebrate Milestones

Illustration d'un homme sur le bout d'un quai et qui regarde le coucher du soleil. Représentation d'une objectif dans la vie

Following an online course requires a sustained commitment over a long period.

To stay motivated, it's essential to set realistic goals and regularly celebrate your progress.

Here are some tips:

  • Define your overall goals (obtaining certification, developing new skills, etc.) as well as shorter-term sub-goals (completing a module, passing an exam, etc.)
  • Reward yourself each time you achieve a goal, even symbolically. This will help you stay motivated throughout the process.
  • Visualize your ultimate success to remind yourself of the reasons you undertook this training.
  • Note your small daily victories in an agenda or journal to never lose sight of your progress.
  • Share your successes with loved ones, and colleagues, or on forums to get recognition and further motivation.

Bonus Tip: Take Care of Yourself!

Beyond learning objectives, it's essential to take care of your overall well-being when taking an online course. Here are some important reminders:

  • Take regular breaks to relax, clear your mind, and avoid burnout.
  • Move around and exercise to stay awake and alert during your study sessions.
  • Ensure you get enough restorative sleep for optimal concentration.
  • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet to provide your body and brain with the necessary energy.
  • Cultivate relaxing and leisure activities in parallel to maintain a healthy balance.

Your physical and mental health is the key to completing your training program.


Succeeding in an online course is a stimulating challenge that requires discipline and commitment.

However, by following these 5 key tips you will greatly increase your chances of achieving your goals:

  1. Create a conducive study environment
  2. Establish a realistic schedule
  3. Actively participate in interactions
  4. Practice active learning
  5. Set goals and celebrate milestones

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We wish you much success and perseverance!