Reference and Education

Online Learning: Tips for Students

In the first part of the series, we talked about the basics of adult learning and the pros and cons of online learning. In the second part, we will look at the process from the other side – through the eyes of a student.

Previously, to get a profession, you had to go to university. It was a whole adventure: to apply, pass a few exams, and then be on duty near the lists of those enrolled. If you weren’t very lucky, then you also have to pay money for training.

All this greatly increased the value of training and knowledge gained. Familiar entrepreneurs and business owners, they said, looked at the diploma as confirmation that a person can complete what he started and is persistent enough to overcome all difficulties.

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Today, education has become a service. You can press a couple of buttons from your phone and get access to knowledge. This simplicity is great for the income of online schools, but it has a bad effect on the motivation of students. Every year I see fewer and fewer students who are ready to learn. Due to the ease of access to courses, they have t

Unfortunately, the process of accessing knowledge has become easier, but the process of obtaining knowledge itself has not. Until now, there is no knowledge replication technology: get a flash drive from one head and insert it into another. It takes effort to learn something. You are responsible for the outcome of your learning.

In this article, I want to give some advice to future or current students. I believe that they will help quality education, master skills, and, ultimately, master a new profession.



The first thing to talk about is motivation. If you took the course because you want to change your life, change jobs, earn more money, and so on, then this will help you to reach the end. If it is based on simple interest or discounts-promotions-advertising, then your interest will quickly subside.

The effect of fitness will turn out: you buy an annual subscription, go several times, and score. Everyone is fine. You console yourself with the thought that you were like and will go again – the subscription is in your pocket! Fitness is generally great, he got money for nothing.

Therefore, I strongly advise you to conduct a little psychological analysis with yourself before buying any course and figure out what motivates you to make this purchase. Answer a few questions for yourself:

  • What motivates me to buy a course?
  • How do I use the knowledge gained later?
  • How can I get back what I’ve spent?
  • What will change in my life after the course?

The list of questions is not complete, expand and change it at your discretion. The main thing is that you have a clear understanding of point A and point B, between which the course necessarily lies and there is no other way to overcome this path.


Working with motivation is all the more necessary if you have chosen a free course. There you don’t sacrifice anything except time. The process is more accessible, easier, but less valuable for you. To effectively study on a free course, you must have triple motivation.

From the answers to the questions, it is best to formulate a specific goal. It would be best to formulate it in the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) format:

  • specific
  • measurable
  • achievable
  • meaningful
  • Time-limited.

For example, the goal “I want to become a developer” will not work. It does not contain criteria for assessing the success of achieving this goal, there is no time frame. For some, this may not be a significant goal, because he always wanted to be a veterinarian.

It’s better like this: “I want to get a position as a junior front-end developer three months after the end of the course.” Such a goal:

  1. concrete,
  2. Measurable – either settled or not,
  3. Achievable – many examples of juniors employment after courses,
  4. Significant – here, of course, only you can decide how significant it is for you,
  5. Limited in time – this will help to achieve it on time, and not spread over twenty years.

Personally, it works well for me if this goal is always in front of my eyes. It keeps my brain from slipping and jumping off. I always remember my motivation and take steps towards it every day.


Another sad sigh on the topic of uninvented knowledge replication. Let’s go further.

Large teams usually participate in the preparation and preparation of courses: methodologists, teachers, leaders. If these are good courses, of course. They are trying to fit a large area of ​​knowledge into a very limited time frame. In this format, it is simply physically impossible to fit everything at all. You will be given the basics and practice, but there will be a fog of war around it all.

Therefore, it is very important to be able to ask questions! For some reason, many students have a problem with this.

In almost every course I have come across, there are teachers, curators, mentors, or graduate students – people who can be asked questions. Take full advantage of this. This will allow not only to better understand the material covered, to close the gaps but also to learn much more than what is given in the program.

Many people are looking for mentors to answer their questions and help them move forward. And you have mentors as a bonus to the courses – use it!

Asking a question

I don’t know why, but many of my students have a fear of asking a question if they don’t understand something. I think the legs grow from unpleasant experiences in childhood. But this is not my specialty =) I regularly encounter a situation where a student silently sends an incorrectly done work for verification. During the discussion, it turns out that he did not understand the topic. But he didn’t ask any questions! Together we formulate the question – together we find the answer to it.

Do not be afraid to seem intrusive, annoying. Ask questions until you get answers. You have a purpose, remember? You need to get her nosebleed!

There is another hypothesis that questions are not asked because a person cannot formulate them. Indeed, we are not specifically taught this skill anywhere. A sample list of questions to ask yourself, which can help you identify the problem and formulate a question for the teacher, might look like this:

  1. The topic you are learning.
  2. What are you doing (if this is code, attach a link)?
  3. What do you get?
  4. How have you tried these methods?
  5. Are you expecting anything in return?

Depending on the profession being mastered, the list may expand, but take this as a basis.

The skill of posing a question will help you not only in the learning process, but also in professional activities, and just in life. It’s no secret that all developers google regularly. To get relevant answers, you need to ask the right questions.

From this advice, by the way, follows the importance of attending online webinars, if you have them in your course. This is an opportunity to directly ask your question and get an answer to it. Perhaps even with an example from the teacher.


Surely, most of you have heard that people are conditionally divided into visuals, auditory, and kinesthetic. In this system, there is a fourth type, which is always forgotten – digital. Digitals build a logical model of the world in the process of internal dialogue.

Most likely, even at school, you found out about yourself the way of learning that suits you. It was important for someone to take notes, for someone it was enough to listen to the teacher, and someone remembered only when he spoke out loud. It’s all about your way of remembering and understanding.

As a rule, online courses provide a limited set of types of materials. These can be webinars, manuals or presentations, practical work. But depending on your type of perception, this may not be enough for you.

Take notes, speak out loud, build logical chains, listen to or review lectures – there are no forbidden tricks in this ring. Do everything to make the theoretical material fit in your head.

With a change of profession, your life experience is not reset. Everything that you knew and were able to do before entering the course can help you in mastering new knowledge. Draw analogies with things you already know, link new terms and concepts to objects from the world you understand. It is easier for the brain to build connections, less energy is spent.


The theory is great, of course. But we all learn to master specific practical skills.

Most courses measure course yield: the number of students who complete a course. Hence the need arises to tailor the program to the weakest. Personally, it seems to me that this is the legacy of classical pedagogy, but this is not about that now.

In the case of online learning, the program is designed so that even the busiest person can afford to take it. Hence there is a limitation on the amount of practice that is given with each block of theory. This way everyone can complete the task and turn it in on time.

If you are interested in achieving a cool result, then I advise you to practice more. In addition to homework, come up with more problems for yourself within the framework of the topics you have mastered. If you are learning frontend and have no idea where to get puzzles from, then the old but not at all outdated article “ From Zero to Frontend Hero ” can help you.

Read More: Critical Thinking into Education System

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