The Successful Online Student

Are you considering taking a course (or more) online? Do you think that online learning may be a good option for one of your students? Virtual learning is not the best fit for every student. It requires discipline and organization. The information below should help you decide if online learning is appropriate.

Successful online learners are self-motivated and self-disciplined.

Freedom and flexibility requires responsibility. Students should take ownership of the learning process and stay organized and on-task. Successful online students are independent!

Students should be comfortable asking for help when necessary.

Many of the non-verbal cues that instructors use in a physical classroom are not visible in the online paradigm. If a student has issues with the technology or the course content, he or she must communicate this immediately.

Students should read and write at grade level, and be able to communicate effectively through writing.

In a virtual classroom, most communication is written, so it is critical that students feel comfortable in expressing themselves in writing. In addition, students should be able to comprehend grade-level content materials and ask for help when necessary. Online courses are reading-intensive; students are expected to glean information from text and apply that to assignments.

Students must be able to meet the requirements for the program.

Online courses are flexible and convenient—not easy. The online courses offer the same content and rigor as courses in a physical classroom setting.

Online students need practically unlimited access to a computer with connectivity.

The course, activities, and assessments are all done via the Internet; students must have access both during school hours and after school. Basic computer skills are essential.

Successful online learners are committed to the learning process.

They know that high quality learning can take place outside of a traditional classroom.Online learning is not the best fit for every student. While the level of interaction can be very high in the virtual classroom, it is not the same as reporting to a traditional classroom.