online learning student

Photo: Adobe Stock

New brave: Study tips for students in the virtual classroom

Online learning requires discipline and undivided attention from students. Here’s some study tips for a smooth transition.

online learning student

Photo: Adobe Stock

The term “the future is online” has never been more relevant than now with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing humanity to change and adapt to new ways of living and learning.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has rolled out technology devices for students to use for distant learning and studying and both Mangosuthu University of Technology and the Durban University of Technology negotiated zero-rated data websites ensuring access for all.

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise daily, it is evident that campuses will continue to keep their doors closed for now. Although great strides have been made to ensure all students have access to learning material, what does e-learning mean for the student?

Discipline and undivided attention

Online learning or e-learning requires discipline and undivided attention from students.

An average lecture is between two to three hours per class, subject to the lesson being a research period, which also allows students to use their time at the library, designated laboratories or doing field work as research. Even though conference call apps, such as Zoom, may be used, the style of learning will not be similar to that experienced in a classroom.

With e-learning, limited time is spent on lectures and students will be required to do independent learning through notes and research. The disruption of traditional teaching was an abrupt one, and students need to quickly adapt if they want to make a success of their studies and graduate.

Some study tips to help with transition to e-learning

Time management:

With online studying comes freedom to choose which subject to focus on that day and when to study. It’s important to set aside dedicated time for your school work. Create a timetable that works best for you and the pace in which you are able to consume information.

Remember procrastination is a thief of time, stick to your study plan.


Find a remote and designated area at home to study. Ensure it’s a comfortable space to work in, but not too comfortable that you may find yourself falling asleep.


Get in touch with your fellow classmates through social media. Create groups in which you could discuss and engage in school work.


Universities have counselling services available online. Speak to one of your counsellors to help you navigate through your studies.

Use what you have:

There’s a misconception that for online learning you need to be fully equipped with the latest technology in order to get information. There are numerous apps available for smartphones which could aid with your studying.

Enticing events come with great change, but thanks to technology, humanity can continue to survive and share information without physical contact. It’s the new brave.

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