How to get the best from online learning and stay motivated

Published by University of Bedfordshire

At university it is common to take learning into your own hands – you will have pre-reading to do for lectures, you may have tasks to complete, and getting your assignments done is up to you. Your learning is your responsibility. 

When you start university, things may be a little different. Being on video call, managing your own study time and leading on your learning is something which has become the norm for students across the country, especially in the last year, and it is likely to continue in our ‘new normal’. 

But how do you get the best from online learning and stay motivated with it? 

Prepare, participate & take notes
Prepare, participate & take notes

Top tips for getting to most out of the year ahead

Here are Beds’ eight top tips to get the most from your exciting year ahead: 

On your online class 

  1. Prepare
    Completing the pre-reading or any tasks from the week before will make you feel confident before any class. Make sure you check your reading lists or look around the topic online so you are as prepared as you can be. 
  2. Participate 
    Be ready to get involved in your online classes – you should ask questions, discuss topics with your peers, and take the opportunity to speak when you can.  
  3. Take notes
    Having a pen and paper to hand when you are taking an online class is handy for you to take notes with – and you can keep your lecture on the screen!
  4. Challenge yourself
    Ask yourself some questions – what do you want to get out of university? What do you want to get out of this year? What do you want to get out of this class? Remember, challenging yourself each day to achieve wider goals is an important part of university. 

    Set yourself a goal to ask a question in a class, or to read up on a particular topic of interest after a lecture – little steps will help you reach your goals. 

Staying motivated

  1. Prioritise 
    Get your order of priorities in check at the start of term. It will help you distinguish between essential activities and items to help you achieve your study goals and non-essential items. 
  2. Get a diary
    Once your priorities are set out, write them down! Having a paper diary or using an app on your phone will help you keep on top of your goals and help you to achieve.
  3. Plan on a weekend 
    Writing in a diary or setting out your week ahead will only take 30 minutes to do. Adding this to your schedule at the weekend means you will be ready for Monday to roll round. Your weeks may be similar, but organising your diary weekly will allow for flexibility!
  4. Don’t forget the little things
    Life will get in the way sometimes (read our advice on how to balance studying with work and responsibilities). The little things are sometimes the most important so be sure to schedule in time for life admin. Being organised will help you to stay motivated.