What Makes a Successful Online Student

What Makes a Successful Online Student

To succeed in the online environment, a student must:

  1. Have access to a computer and have minimum technology skills and requirements.
    Online courses require students to have daily access to a computer and be comfortable communicating online.
     
  2. Commit five to nine hours each week for a 16 week course and 10-12 hours each week for an 8 week course.
    Online courses are not "easier" than those held on campus. Some of the time may be spent online in a discussion board, reading texts, completing written assignments, performing research, or interacting with classmates in a chat room. Students who login to their course every day often find a rewarding, interactive, and rich learning environment. Many students note that while online learning may require more time and commitment than a course held on campus, their learning experiences are positive and worth the investment.
     
  3. Motivate themselves and be self-disciplined.
    Online courses offer convenience and flexibility. Successful online students are responsible, self-motivated, committed to their learning. Time management skills and self-discipline are also essential.  
     
  4. Think ideas through before responding.
    Meaningful and quality input into an online course is an essential part of the learning process. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged; faculty do not expect students to be right all the time, but they do want to see that the student has thought about the content in a meaningful way.
     
  5. Communicate clearly and effectively through writing.

    In online courses, most of the communication is written; therefore, it is critical that students feel comfortable expressing their ideas in writing. Using the spell check, proper grammar, proofreading, correct citations, and clear sentences are essential skills in an online course.
     

  6. Interact with classmates and faculty.
    Many online faculty use the discussion board or chat to replicate a traditional classroom discussion. Students who engage in an online discussion with classmates and their faculty tend to learn more than those who do not. Students are encouraged to interact with classmates as much as possible.
     
  7. "Speak up" if problems arise.
    Online faculty may not know when students are having a difficult time with the course. Faculty expect the student to contact them as soon as problems arise so that necessary help can be provided. Students must reach out to faculty as early as possible if they need help.