Resources to help learners learn online

4 min read

It is beginning to look more likely that institutions will be leaning heavily on online and blended models of course delivery this fall, meaning that not only will there be a lot of new instructors teaching online for the first time, there will also be a lot of students taking an online course for the first time as well.

Right now, there are numerous initiatives underway across many systems to help “scale up” instructional capacity, including my own organization BCcampus where we have been doing numerous webinars and drop-in office hours on the basics of online learning aimed at instructors across the BC post-sec system. But I was curious as to what is being done to support those students who will be taking their first online course.

Quite a few resources were shared with me in the Twitter chat, so many that I thought I would curate them into a single blog post. If you know of more open resources that focus on helping students learn to learn online, please feel free to and them in the comments below and I’ll add them to this list.

Posts and Articles

Open Books

  • Learning to Learn Online, Christina Page & Adam Vincent (KPU) & LibreTexts. Openly licensed (CC-BY-SA) book that includes an interesting section on SQ3R reading technique.





  • Learning how to Learn Online, Open University. A comprehensive 6 hour open micro-course from the UK’s Open University that can be applied to both online and face to face contexts. Especially useful is a section on how to be a reflective learner.
  • Digital Literacy: succeeding in a digital world, Open University. 8 week open course also from the Open University. Not focused specifically on learning how to learn online, but full of information that  This one is also a bit more general and focuses on developing digital literacy skills in general.
  • Essential Skills for Online Learners, University of Manchester. 4 hour micro-course that focuses on three core skills: Organization, Collaboration, and Communication
  • Being an OU Student, Open University. Another micro-course (12 hours) from the OU. This one aimed at potential OU students so some is specific to the OU. But the section on How to be a Successful Student contains some more general tips, including tips from students like getting your family & friends on board.
  • Learning how to Learn, McMaster University & UC San Diego (Coursera), MOOC not focused specifically on online learning, but more general learning. This one looks like it touches a bit on learning sciences and covers topics like chunking and retrieval practice.
  • How to Learn Online, Open University (via FutureLearn), 2 week MOOC that is one of the few that looks like it covers the topic of informal learning and has students examine how they are currently using the internet for their own informal learning.


  • Adapting to COVID-19 from my colleagues at BCcampus is full of resources for both students and educators, including some resources around dealing with stress and mental health issues. Openly licensed for reuse (CC-BY)
  • Keep Learning Online from UBC. Comprehensive and openly licensed for reuse (CC-BY)

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