Profile of a Successful Online Student
Students who choose to participate in online courses need to examine their personal skills and aptitudes for taking a class online. The following attributes will greatly contribute to a student's success:
- Self-motivation - Students can direct their own learning environment and methods to fulfill course requirements and achieve individual academic success.
- Independent learner - The online environment enables students to learn at their own pace, relieving the stress of feeling rushed or pressured and providing enjoyment in the learning process.
- Computer literate - Although it is not necessary to have advanced computer skills, students should possess a working knowledge of electronic e-mail, the Internet, as well as basic keyboarding skills.
- Time management - Students must be able to organize and plan their own best "time to learn." There is no one best time for everyone, but the key to learning is to make the time to learn.
- Effective written communication skills - Students must use electronic e-mail and discussion forums to communicate with their peers as well as the instructors. The ability to write clearly to communicate ideas and assignments is essential. This method provides the learner with rapid feedback as well as a means to inform instructors of any concerns or problems that they may be experiencing.
- Personal commitment - Because there are no bells that begin and end classes, students must have a strong desire to learn and achieve knowledge and skills via online courses. Making a commitment to learn in this manner is a very personal decision and requires a strong commitment to perform in order to achieve academic success.
- Reading lexile level of 900 or above - Because the online coursework is rigorous, a reading lexile level of 900 or above is critical that potential online students have a minimum 900 lexile level.
- Last but not least, successful online students are students who decide for themselves that online learning is a choice that they want to make.
SPECIAL NOTE: Students may actually learn and hone the above skills by taking an online course. Be careful not to deny a student's request and interest in online learning simply because they have not mastered all of the above skills. These are merely considerations.
When may it be in the best interest of a student to enroll in an online course?
- Resolve scheduling conflicts at school or meet the needs of different schedule configurations
- Allows student flexibility in use of time to meet other school/family/work commitments
- To take courses not available at the student's home school
- Student needs to make up a credit
- Online may be a better-suited learning environment
- Student desires the experience of taking a distance education course
- Provides opportunity for student to complete course(s) at an accelerated pace
- Provides extended time to complete coursework for those students that need additional time
- To meet the needs of a transferring student
- Students who have medical conditions that may not allow them to be present for a full day
When may it not be in the best interest of a student to enroll in an online course?
- Student does not meet the profile of a successful online student.
- Student requires a remedial program not an entire course.
- Student will not have reliable access to the appropriate computer hardware.
- Student's lexile level is below 900, which would make course comprehension incredibly challenging.
- If taking an online course is not the student's choice. Students should desire to take course(s) online rather than having significant adults choosing the online course for the students.