How to Be an Effective Online Learner (10 Strategies)

Are you struggling to create and maintain a structured study schedule now that you are taking classes at home? Are you finding it difficult to focus on your coursework and complete assignments? Are you worried about falling behind in your courses without regular, in-person class meetings? KOLT offers 10 tips and strategies to help you manage the transition to an online learning environment.

•  KOLT offers a large collection of support resources for students studying from home via the KOLT Students Blackboard page. There, you can find tip sheets on topics including time management, effective reading and note-taking, and exam preparation, among others. This page is not a regular course, but it offers a range of study skills guides with useful, practical recommendations. Please write to to request to be added to the KOLT Students Blackboard page for access to these resources.

•  KOLT offers one-on-one academic consultations online for students who need support with the transition to online learning and at-home study. These 30-minute sessions are open to all students by appointment. Please visit the following link to book a time:

•  Please also note that the KOLT Tutoring Center and KOLT Conversation Circles are still running online.

Online/Remote Learning Q&A

Please see below most frequently asked questions about how to connect to online courses, what to do if you are having technical problems, who to contact and other topics.

1. What do I need to know to take my classes online?

 Resources for students about learning online/remotely can be found at KOLT website. We also encourage you to reach out to your instructors and/or the Office of the Dean/Director of your Faculty or Graduate School.

Please remember that each instructor may adopt a different approach to online teaching.

  • Some of them will share their course materials and ask you to study at your own pace. Self-paced learning requires timely check in Blackboard to follow the course materials.
  • Some of them will teach a live course, meaning that your course will take place at the time your classes are supposed to be held. Your instructors may use different platforms to teach a live course. Please check your e-mail every day to learn how to proceed with the details of live courses.

If you are an international or exchange student living in different time zones, please get in touch with your instructors if they have not contacted you yet.

2. Do I need a VPN to take online classes?

Students do not need a VPN to access any of the learning management systems, including Blackboard and Panopto, that are commonly used across KU.

3. What do I need to/Who do I need to contact if I have technical problems such as:

  • I cannot access the course
  • I cannot hear the instructor
  • My computer freezes
  • Will I be able to resume from where I left off? Or can I listen to it afterwards for review and/or if I missed a part of the course due to technical problems?
  • I do not have a laptop/desktop at my disposal and/or left mine in my dorm/apartment.

We have a new track-it system for online learning. Please send all your inquiries about online learning to

4. How can we reach course materials?

 We will continue to use Blackboard as the main platforms for sharing course materials (slides, videos, assignments, etc.). However, some instructors may prefer to use F-drive. You instructors will inform you about her/his choice of platform.

 5. I left my textbooks in my dorm/apartment. What can I do?

 Our Suna Kıraç Library is working with faculty to provide digitized versions of necessary textbook materials for use by students who cannot access their textbooks. We recommend that you connect with your instructors.

6. Now that in person classes will not occur, will the instructors/faculty allocate more time to be accessible for students as doing this remotely may be more challenging than in person?

 We know that for many students, online/remote learning means adjusting for time. For questions specific to courses, we recommend contacting your individual instructors to see if there are (or to request) opportunities to record and watch lectures at a later time.

7. How can I reach my instructor during her/his office hours?

Your instructors will be holding office hours online. We recommend you contact your instructors to learn how to attend her/his office hours.

Important notice: If you have returned home to XXX and have been hospitalized/quarantined right away from the airport for 14 days,  and if you have not difficulty in joining sessions due to your situation, we would recommend that you contact your instructors to make them aware of your situation if you have access to email.