Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning

According to Debbie Morrison (2012), the five strategies that successful students engaged in online learning tend to practice are:

  • Reviewing and becoming familiar with course syllabi
  • Planning and sticking to a study routine
  • Signing in to the course’s LMS at least thrice weekly
  • Reaching out to instructors with questions when needed
  • Fostering and maintaining an online community with classmates

Morrison seems to suggest that, while a student may not have these strategies to begin with, that the strategies can be explicitly taught or individually practice. However, the common thread in successfully applying these five practices is self-direction and responsibility for one’s own learning.

I can say that I already have these five strategies deeply ingrained; but as Morrison suggests, I did not always have these habits. I had to cultivate them. This seems to be a recurring theme, but this article has made me realize that I should be explicitly teaching these habits to my own students. Even though they are in the physical classroom, most teachers in our district utilize an LMS to post the syllabus, slides, and other learning materials. They should be engaging with this material outside of class regularly. Beyond this, a study routine is invaluable for any student–online or in the classroom.


Morrison, D. (2012, September 28). Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning. Online Learning Insights. Retrieved from [link]

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