To succeed, online students must possess certain traits

Posted on Wednesday, 4/10/2013 3:30 pm

As the American education sector continues to evolve, the concept of the virtual classroom is not just something college students encounter, but learners of all ages. However, before teachers and parents expose K-12 students to web-based instruction, they need to consider whether these pupils have what it takes to succeed as online learners.

Here are a few things educators and parents should think about regarding students' readiness for online instruction, as well as tips they may be able to use to bolster children's cyber success:

Personality
Online education is not for everybody. Someone who thrives in a physical classroom may struggle when asked to take courses over the internet. For this reason, educators and parents need to think about students' personalities and whether web-based instruction is right for them.

According to ISEEK, a career, education and job resource for Minnesota residents, online students need to be motivated with good time management skills and the maturity necessary to complete work with little supervision. Of course, they must also be comfortable using technology.

ISEEK states that students who always complete homework assignments in physical classrooms, and possess a positive attitude toward school and a desire to accomplish goals are the types of individuals who tend to be successful online learners.

Learning style
There are many ways to deliver online instruction, so educators and parents need to determine which style is most compatible with students' individual learning styles.

Would a student perform better in a more structured online course that is led by an instructor, or one that is self-paced and provides more flexibility? Perhaps a blended learning approach, which offers both online and in-person classroom time, is best for pupils. No matter which format educators and parents decide on, what matters the most is how much students will benefit from it.

Technology
Something that is essential to any online student's success is having the right technology for the job. Edudemic states that a shaky internet connection and an outdated computer may stand between online learners and the instruction they are supposed to be receiving.

To avoid these problems, it is a good idea for educators and parents to evaluate their technology to make sure it can handle the heavy use it will receive once online students start to use it.

Environment
While a virtual classroom removes many of the distractions present in a physical setting, such as rambunctious students, a different set of problems can affect online learners if they are not careful.

For instance, the very fact that they are learning online means they can become distracted by websites and whatever programs they have installed on the computer they are using. Educators and parents may want to consider installing blocking software on computers. This will help students avoid distracting websites that can keep them from focusing on the work at hand.

In addition, they should ensure that students have a quiet space to work in. If a television is blasting in the background, pupils may not be too invested in their learning.

 
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