Be a Successful Online Learner

  • Joseph Condon, Faculty Member

    “To know how to effectively learn online takes practice and self-direction, but once you get it down, you may determine that this is a great alternative to the standard method of learning
    in a classroom.”

  • Rick Arrowood, Faculty Member

    “The professors are looking for engagement; they want you to interact with other students. This is what makes online learning so exciting. When you go into an on-ground classroom, you might interact with two or three students, but the online format allows you to interact with every single student.”

  • Allison Ruda, Instructional Designer and Faculty Lecturer

    “Online learning is media rich. There are a lot of ways to deliver instruction online through podcasts, videos, guest speakers and contributors to the course. As many technologies as you can imagine and that you use on a regular basis, those technologies are being leveraged as tools for learning at Northeastern.”

What does it take to be a successful online learner?

  • A proactive, self-motivated learning style
  • Good time management skills
  • Basic computer skills
  • High-speed internet connection

Here are some tips

Arrange for computer access in advance
You need regular access to a computer that meets technical requirements for participating in online and blended courses.

Establish good study habits and stick to them
Dedicate time each week to participate, study, and complete course work online. An online education, offers flexibility but it requires discipline and strong time management skills. Be mindful of work deadlines, travel, and other commitments when setting aside time for your course(s).

Interact with your classmates
Share your perspectives and experiences with others, so that you can enhance course topics. Participation demonstrates your mastery of the subject matter and promotes community with your peers. who play an important role in your educational growth.

Stay engaged
Stay engaged with your lessons, instructors, and classmates, You may not have a lot of time to devote to school work each day, but make a habit of checking-in on a regular basis to look at new content, discussion posts, announcements, etc. Over time, this will help you manage the workload and get the most out of online learning.

Raise questions as they arise
Don't wait until an assignment is due or past due to ask questions, report technical problems, misunderstandings, or other barriers to completing course work on time. Remember that your instructor does not have the benefit of seeing your body language or fielding your questions in real-time. If a problem or question arises, speak up immediately.

Apply your knowledge
Apply skills and concepts you learn to activities, problems, or processes in your professional setting. Knowledge and skill-building is most powerful when you apply them to situations in your own life.


Visit the online learning FAQ page.

View the Online Class Demo

Learn how to begin your online course, complete activities and assignments and connect with students and faculty online.

Technical Requirements

  •  PC (Vista/7/8) or Mac (10.6+)
  • Mic and SpeakersMany classes require a microphone and webcam
  •   High-speed internet connection
  • Firefox (final release channel) recommended
  • Internet Explorer 11+ and Safari 6+ are also supported
  • ie9Chrome (stable channel) is compatible with most functionality

What do I need to know?

  • E-mail
  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
  • Uploading, downloading, & attaching files
  • Navigating the Web