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Tips for success with online learning

Taking a course online, also known as "remote learning," can be challenging. Approach it strategically to learn well and feel positive about the process.

Get started as soon as possible

If you choose to take an eConcordia course (“EC “in the course section column online shows that the course is offered through eConcordIa), you first register for the course. (You can also find the link to add courses on the Student Hub's My CU Account page.) 

As soon as the semester session begins (and also at least 24 hours after you have registered for the course), you will be able to access your online course through eConcordia. To do so, you will first create an account on the eConcordia online portal.

For Moodle-supported courses your professor will usually activate the class website the first day of class if not before. You can access Moodle, Office 365 and Zoom from your mobile device.

Familiarize yourself with your course

1. Explore the course website or Moodle site to understand how it is organized and what to expect

2. Read the course outline carefully:

  • What’s synchronous (live) and what’s asynchronous (not live)?
  • What academic support is there? –office hours and ways to contact Instructor, or TA if there is one
  • What types of assignments are required, when and how often?

3. Contact your instructor if you have any questions; their email should be on the course outline. if it is not, contact the department that administers the course to get the professor’s email.  You can also contact them through the course Moodle.

Manage your time

  • It’s easier to fall behind in an online course than in an in-person course
  • In your schedule, build in the same amount of studying time you would need for a face-to-face course: estimate 8-10 hours per 3 credit course per week: 5 hours for watching /listening to the class and  studying the course content and 5 hours for assignments, quizzes, etc.
  • Make a study schedule based on the course outline
  • Set aside time to go over the lessons and course materials so that you understand and learn the course content.
  • Set aside other time to do assignments, and break assignments down into specific tasks so that they are less overwhelming
  • Keep careful track of due dates. Use the Student Learning Services Semester Planner and update it regularly with changes
  • Give yourself enough time to upload assignments to eConcordia or Moodle well in advance for a deadline—technical glitches can happen with your computer or your network

Study effectively

  • Spread the time to work on each course over several days each week
  • Treat the course like an in-person course: your aim is to learn rather than just complete assignments
  • Work through required readings and video-watching while taking notes either online or on paper
  • After a synchronous class session, make a few notes after to summarize what happened and what you learned.
  • Aim to capture main points in your own words
  • When you work on course assignments, review your notes from class and readings first to remind you of what you’ve learned
  • Avoid multi-tasking as it dilutes attention span and affects your ability to focus


Participation connects you with the course and your class-mates, helps you learn better and impacts your grade: professors often grade online activity on what and how you post and when and how often you go online.

Stay connected through synchronous (live) class chat, Zoom polls and breakout rooms, discussion boards and forums. In these situations:

  • Think before you share: work out what you think about ideas before you post
  • Post questions for others/all to consider
  • When joining a discussion thread, rephrase main point in discussion to clarify the context before you start the comment to be clear what you are responding to
  • If you are unsure of communicating on the spot, make some notes in advance about what you could say or write
  • Keep it short and simple to retain people’s attention
  • Respond to every person with respect and be careful not to alienate others with glib, sarcastic or reactive comments
  • As soon as you have questions or don’t understand something, be proactive--contact your professor or TA through the message board or course contact information. If/when you need to, request a time to meet

Maintain momentum and get help when you need it

  • Talk about what you’re learning in the course with friends, family, classmates—this will make it part of your thinking
  • Learn to apply the course theory, not just restate it
  • Do review questions and anything else that will help you apply and reinforce knowledge
  • If you find the content confusing or difficult, find a textbook on the same topic online or through Concordia Library to help guide you through the main concepts
  • Discuss any problems with professor, Teaching Assistant, other classmates, via email, course message board, etc.
  • Come see a Learning Specialist at Student Learning Services to find out creative ways to study the content
  • Explore other Student learning Services resources, such as workshops, math tutoring, writing assistance and study groups for ECON courses  

Contact us

514-848-2424, ext. 3921


Sir George Williams Campus
Room H-745

Loyola Campus
Room AD-103

Office hours

Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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