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What Makes An Online Student Successful?

Today's online students seek to enhance their learning opportunities. The traditional school setting works well for many students, but the online classroom is a significant player in today’s educational community. In general, the online student should possess and/or develop the following qualities:

Be open-minded about sharing life, work and educational experiences as part of the learning process.

The online process requires students to utilize experiences. This forum for communication eliminates the visual barriers that hinder some individuals in expressing themselves. In addition, the students are given time to reflect on information before responding. The online environment should be open and friendly.

Be able to communicate through writing.

In the Online Classroom, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that students feel comfortable in expressing themselves in writing.

Be self-motivated and self-disciplined.

With the freedom and flexibility of the online environment, comes responsibility. The online process takes a real commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the process.

Be willing to "speak up" if problems arise.

Many of the non-verbal communication mechanisms that instructors use in determining whether students are having problems (confusion, frustration, boredom, absence, etc.) are not possible in the online paradigm. If a student is experiencing difficulty on any level (either with the technology or with the course content), they must communicate this immediately, otherwise the instructor will never know there is a problem.

Be willing and able to commit to 4 to 15 hours per week per course.

Online is not easier than the traditional educational process, in fact, many students will say it requires much more time and commitment.

Be able to meet the minimum requirements for the program.

The requirements for online are no less than that of any other quality educational program. Successful students will view online as a convenient way to receive their education – not an easier way.

•Be able to meet the minimum standards as set forth by the institution

•Be able to complete assignments on time

•Enjoy communicating in writing

An online student is expected to:

•Participate in the online classroom a minimum of three times a week

•Be able to work with others in completing projects

•Be able to use the technology properly

Accept critical thinking and decision-making as part of the learning process.

The learning process requires the student to make decisions based on facts as well as experience. Incorporating information and executing the right decisions requires critical thought.

Have access to a computer and a modem.

The communication medium is a computer, phone line and modem. The student must have access to the necessary equipment.

Be able to think ideas through before responding.

Meaningful, quality input into the online classroom is an essential part of the learning process. Time is given in the process to allow for the careful consideration of responses. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged; you will not always be right, just be prepared to accept a challenge.

Feel that high quality learning can take place without going to a traditional classroom.

Online learning is not for everybody. A student who wants to be on a traditional campus attending a traditional classroom is probably not going to be happy online. While the level of social interaction can be enhanced for students preferring written expression, it is different than the on campus classroom.

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