Tips for Online Learning Success

online learning

A large meta-analysis revealed that online learners often outperform face-to-face learners.1

How do you become one of those successful learners? For some, online courses present a challenge. Yet online learning can offer a relaxed, empowering way to immerse yourself in new clinical content mastery.

What strategies can you take from successful learners to complete the Introduction to Functional Medicine course?

  1. Make an appointment with yourself. The convenience of online learning can make it easy to procrastinate. Setting aside the time to do the course gives you a goal, which increases the likelihood of follow through.2 You can finish this course in under two hours, so pick a time when you can commit to finishing it.
  2. Set up your workspace. Consider where you will be taking the course and minimize distractions. Ensure that you will be able to hear the audio, see the screen clearly, and be at a comfortable temperature. Low background noise and a comfortable temperature are known to improve learning.3
  3. Explore your resources. Many patient education and case materials are located in the Resources section of your course, and these tools can help you with patients. Resources include Food Plans, patient handouts, and core Functional Medicine tools.

Try these strategies out today with IFM’s Introduction to Functional Medicine course—you’ll have 60 days to put these tips into action.



  1. Means B, Toyama Y, Murphy R, Bakia M, Jones K. Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. Washington, DC: US Department of Education; 2009. Accessed January 30, 2018.
  2. Milligan C, Littlejohn A. How health professionals regulate their learning in massive open online courses. Internet High Educ. 2016;31:113-121. doi:1016/j.iheduc.2016.07.005.
  3. Lewinski P. Effects of classrooms’ architecture on academic performance in view of telic versus paratelic motivation: a review. Front Psychol. 2015;6:746. doi:3389/fpsyg.2015.00746.

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