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Study tips for Online Learning

Watch this video for some basic study tips on online learning from Leiden University. In the next section we will dive into them in a bit more depth.
Having all the freedom to study online is nice. But this might make it difficult to focus and start studying. When learning online you need to become a self-directed learner to make the most of it. Here are some tips to get you started. First read through the syllabus. Before you start make sure you understand the course by reading the syllabus, grading policy and the resources. The second tip, plan your study time. Fit the course into your activities. Plan weekly study times in your calendar and tell your friends and family not to disturb you. Make sure to visit the course at least three times a week instead of binge-watching all the videos in one go.
This will help you retain information better and feel engaged. Tip 3 actively participate in the course. Connect with fellow learners by joining in the conversation and asking and answering questions in the discussion forum.
Tip 4, you can find many ways to collaborate like joining a study group, upvoting answers you really liked, or sharing material you created for the course.
A successful learner contributes to a learning community. Here’s how to do that. An academic informed debate is respectful of each other’s arguments using civil discourse. Avoid negativity such as stereotyping, discrimination or inflammatory remarks.
Give some thought to your arguments and avoid logical fallacies. Cite evidence such as sources and data to support your arguments. Make sure you follow personal online safety rules and do not share out personal details such as your email address or phone number. Now you are ready to be a successful learner. Enjoy your journey with our online course.

We believe it is important in an online course to create the same kind of safe academic rigorous atmosphere in the community as you would find at the Leiden University campus. We ask that you follow the community guidelines, and if necessary update yourself on academic skills as detailed in the links provided in the resources. These guidelines are in addition to FutureLearn’s guidelines and Terms of Service.


In contrast to classical forms of education, this course has no classroom in which there is direct contact between lecturer and student. The comments compensates for this lack of social presence. One important way of learning is to discuss the study material with other students. So we invite you to be active in the comments by asking questions, posting your fact based viewpoints and react likewise to your fellow students.


In courses as massive and permanently available as on FutureLearn the Teaching Team cannot read every single post and hence cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of everything written in the comments. Staff is not regularly available for clarifications. We rely on YOU to to help your fellow students. You can assist us regarding the most important questions, by upvoting the posts which seem to be particularly important or by posing challenging questions.

Be Respectful

The comments are not the appropriate place to just post an opinion. It is a place for academic and informed debate, where you can share your fact-based perspective and more importantly learn from those of others.

We expect civil discourse and we will not tolerate any racist, stereotyping, discriminatory or inflammatory remarks. Any behaviour that is deemed unacceptable will be dealt with by staff. If you see an issue please do not engage or continue fighting but report the offending post.

Be Academic

We expect students to express themselves with thoughtful contributions separating opinion from fact and avoiding so called logical fallacies in debate such as name calling, ridiculing your opponent, cherry picking, strawman etc. Cite evidence such as sources and data to support your arguments, and use clear logic.

Be Safe

Please remember personal online safety rules. We prefer you do not share your phone number or your email address publicly. If you wish to do so, please use a venue outside this course.

You can however share your social media accounts or use the features of FutureLearn to agree to meet up somewhere else. Why not meet each other in a local public place?

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