Guest Blog: 5 Ways to Become a Better Online Student in College

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When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, all educational systems were forced to go entirely online. Most students had to quickly adjust to the new form of learning, known as e-learning or distance learning. I know I was not the only one who struggled immensely with this drastic change. It has now been over three years since the beginning of the pandemic, and I have been a hybrid student ever since. As a college senior who has learned the ins and outs of online learning, here are 5 ways to become a better online student in a hybrid world.

1. Enhance your time management skills

An aspect of school that almost every student hates is homework. Having to do classwork outside of school can be tedious, and some people are so busy that it can be hard to manage time wisely. However, time management is the most important skill of a great online learner. It can be really easy if you follow these tips!

How to enhance your skills:

Something that will benefit you in online and hybrid courses is creating a schedule. Taking thirty minutes out of your Sunday to write down your due dates and schedule when you are going to do your assignments keeps you accountable and allows you to be prepared for what is coming. It is also beneficial to go through all your courses at the beginning of the semester, write down all due dates, and set reminders for future assignments.

2. Check your email

Especially in college courses, emails have become the main source of communication between students and professors. If you do not check your email at least once a day, you may not be fully up to date with what you must accomplish for the week.

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How to check your email:

You should make sure that you schedule time each day to check your email and stay up to date with your deadlines. Checking at least once a day will ensure you are updated and not missing out on anything important. 

3. Problem-solve on your own

In relation to checking your email, you probably know how annoying it is to be bombarded with emails from professors and student organizations. It is no different with professors’ inboxes.

How to solve your own issues:

Instead of emailing your professors with every question you have, try searching for answers on your own first. Ask your classmates and try to form connections around your courses. The internet is also a great resource for finding information. For very specific course questions, asking the professor is definitely okay. Just try to limit the number of emails to your professors because they are just as overloaded with information and emails as you are.

4. Focus on written skills

You can no longer hide your writing flaws behind your handwriting. Online learning focuses mostly on writing skills, so it is important that you build and work on these. From discussion posts to written assignments, writing is key to being successful in online courses.

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How to be a successful writer:

A program that many students find incredibly helpful with writing online is Grammarly. It gives writers suggestions in real-time and autocorrects issues that Microsoft Word or Google Docs might not be able to find. Proofreading assignments before you turn them in is always going to help you!

5. Take advantage of online resources

As an online student, you have a wide variety of information within arm’s reach. It is vital that you take advantage of the resources available. There are an unlimited number of possibilities for educational assistance on the Internet.

How to use online resources with examples:

It is important to be aware of the resources available to you. Here are three of the best online sources to help with studying, writing, and memorizing!

  • Quizlet: This is a great tool that allows users to create their own study tools like flashcards, study games, and tests. 
  • Grammarly: As mentioned above, Grammarly is an autocorrecting bot that automatically provides writing tips and suggestions in real-time. 
  • HippoCampus: This website provides students with free media, like simulations, on general education subjects to help with homework and studying.

Embrace online learning!

Today, most students will either say they love or hate online learning. Whether you like it or not, you must learn to embrace it, as e-learning is here to stay. Success is highly likely if you apply yourself and learn how to be the best online learner that you can be. If you stick to these 5 tips and check out the other tips in the resources below, you will be a successful online college student in a post-pandemic world.

Check out these other sources with great tips for online learning!

5 online learning tips from The Ohio State University

10 tips for success in online classes from University of South Florida

21 Study Tips for Online Classes from

Tips for Successful Online Learning from

Author bio

My name is Alexa Forrey. I am currently a senior studying marketing and writing at Grand Valley State University. I am involved in the GVSU Women in Business Organization, the American Marketing Association, the GV Dance Troupe, and the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society. This past summer I worked for Beyond Juicery + Eatery and Detroit Wing Company. I worked on the winter campaign for both companies and designed them from scratch with the Creative Director of both companies. My campaign will be launched in January of 2023 at Detroit Wing Company. I also worked for Mindful Matters out of Rochester, NY this summer as a digital marketing intern. I worked on social media accounts, ran the LinkedIn page, and helped to increase the website’s SEO by 5%. Most prominently, I was a high school senior in 2020 during the pandemic and had a fully online freshman year of college. I want to help educate other students on how to be successful in a digital post-pandemic world.

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