Introduction to this resource

intro imageHello and welcome to Essential Skills for Online Learning from The University of Manchester Library.

You can work through this resource online starting with this introduction, and/or download the printable/offline version.


The resource will help you to develop skills that will enable you to get the most out of being an online learner. The strategies presented will help you to think critically about your approach to learning online. You will be introduced to strategies to help you across three areas:

  • Organise: you will learn about the benefits of being organised in your approach to online learning
  • Communicate: you will recognise the importance of your role and your audience’s expectations when communicating your ideas effectively online
  • Collaborate: you will understand the ways in which you can contribute to and are supported by your collaborative online learning community

As you are introduced to strategies to support you in each of the three areas  it is important to take time to reflect upon what works for you. Reflecting on your approach will  help you to develop your skills within a wider context. To make the most of your online learning experience it is useful to think about how the ideas you have learned relate to each other.

Online Learning: Not better, not worse - just different!

All learners face opportunities, considerations and challenges. Your experience of online learning may differ from your experience of other learning environments; not better, not worse - just different!

It is important to reflect on your own situation, your goals and your motivations as a learner.

Example: You are completing your degree part time around your job, so you have limited time for studying. You would like to become better organised in order to make the most of your study time.

Activity: Write down your goals 

Consider how you will use what you learn in this resource to help you achieve them. You might want to put a list of goals and motivations somewhere you will see them every day, or take the time to explain them to a friend or family member.

Your goals will serve to motivate you throughout your course. Once you have clearly defined your goals you can return to them whenever your studies become more challenging, to motivate yourself.

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Remember: you can download a printable/offline version if it suits you to work through this resource offline.

Last modified: Friday, 26 Jul 2019, 10:22