Tips for Online Learning

Remote learners often have to face even more challenges compared to face-to-face learning. So stay motivated and stay positive, give yourself credit and, as appropriate, the occasional reward.

Download a PDF version of Tips for Remote Learning here

Log-in regularly

It might seem obvious but you need to log in. Even if you can’t make live classes or events, it’s important to login to the Canvas system as often as you can so you can stay on top of what’s happening with your modules. If you go too long without logging in you can get left behind and, moreover, it may seem to your lecturers that you’re not participating fully in your course.

Keep in Contact

During periods of remote learning, lecturing and other staff are not seeing or meeting you in a physical face-to-face environment, so you may need to be a bit more proactive if you’re having problems or need help with something. If you are having some kind of technical issue, for instance, that prevents you from participating properly in a class or accessing Canvas your lecturer may have no way of knowing unless you tell them (be sure to use the technical supports available in situations like this - please see below).

Equally if there is something about the structure of your course or just some concepts that you don’t understand -- be sure to ask your lecturers or your fellow students. Just try to be as clear and as concise as you can.


Have a plan and stick to it

It might seem obvious but you need to put time aside every week to study and work on your course requirements while outside MTU (this is in addition to attending or reviewing any live classes). It is absolutely critical to your success. Don’t rely on doing coursework when you have a spare moment, or when you feel up to it - block off set times each and every week and stick to them.


Connect with your classmates and participate in any online discussions

Participate in any opportunities provided to you to connect with your classmates. This may include an online discussion or a live lecture event for a particular module or some other group-based activities or online community spaces set up by your lecturer/s, or just a whatsapp request for help or offer of help from your classmates. Make sure you keep up these connections, it will pay dividends in terms of staying on top of coursework while outside of MTU, supporting each other and ultimately your final results.

Make use of the technical support available

There are a wide range of supports available to you during this period of remote learning. Probably the biggest support available to you will be the Canvas Tier 1 support, which is available 24/7 for all MTU Cork students. You can also avail of this in Canvas by clicking on the “Help” icon in the menu on the left-hand side.

You can also access:

Engage with any and all learning experiences and content

However your lecturer decides to make learning material available, be sure to properly take a look at it. Examine the learning content they make available and attend any online lectures that may be scheduled. Pay attention and take notes. Be sure to use any relevant opportunity to ask questions, look for clarifications, etc.

Stay organised

During this remote teaching period, knowing what you need to get done is essential. Keep a calendar for important dates and deadlines, keep a to-do list for smaller daily or weekly tasks. Being disorganised is the biggest enemy of the learner, don’t let it hurt your chances for success.

Have a place to learn

It can be difficult (and sometimes impossible!) to study or work on assessments if you’re sharing a space with others or if the space where you’re trying to work is noisy or messy. Try to find a space that’s quiet and free of distractions when you’ve blocked off time to do any online learning.

Try to keep this space organised and tidy so that you feel motivated to work there. Don’t allow yourself to become the source of your own distraction while you’re there either: have strict and absolute rules for yourself about use of social media, extracurricular browsing etc.


Remember why you’re doing this.

Higher education can be tough. Remote learners often have to face even more challenges compared to face-to-face learning. So stay motivated and stay positive, give yourself credit and, as appropriate, the occasional reward. Accept that there will be highs and lows and that the most important kind of learning challenges us at more than just an intellectual level.

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