The traditional school will never go away, but the virtual classroom is a significant player in today’s educational community. Virtual learning experiences for students are expanding rapidly. In general, the online student should possess special qualities.
Be open minded about sharing life, work, and educational experiences as part of the learning process
Introverts as well as extroverts find that the online process requires them to utilize their experiences. This forum for communication eliminates the visual barriers that hinder some individuals in expressing themselves. In addition, the student is given time to reflect on the information before responding. The online environment should be open and friendly. Students should be able to communicate through writing. In the Virtual Classroom, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that students feel comfortable in expressing themselves in writing. Many students have limited writing abilities, which should be addressed before or as part of the online experience. This may require remedial efforts on the part of the student.
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. Students enrolled in LexOne Virtual School are required to CHECK their E-MAIL DAILY.
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 online. If a student is experiencing difficulty on any level (either with the technology or with the course content), he or she must communicate this immediately. Otherwise, the instructor will never know what is wrong.
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.
The requirements for online courses are no less than that of any other quality educational program. Successful students will view online learning as a convenient way to receive their education – not an easier way.
The learning process requires the student to make decisions based on facts as well as experience. Assimilating information and executing the right decisions require critical thought; case analysis does this very effectively.
The communication medium is the Internet through a computer connection; the student must have access to the necessary equipment.
Meaningful and quality input into the virtual classroom is an essential part of the learning process. Time is given in the process to allow for careful consideration of responses. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged; students will not always be right; they must be prepared to accept a challenge.
If students feel that a traditional classroom is a prerequisite to learning, they may be more comfortable in the traditional classroom. Online is not for everybody. An online student is expected to:
- Participate in the virtual classroom
- Check e-mail daily
- Be able to use technology properly
- Be able to complete assignments on time
- Enjoy communicating in writing
The online learning process requires commitment on the student’s part. Completing all work on time is vital. The instructor may contact the student personally to offer assistance and remind the student of the need to stay on pace. Basically, the student needs to want the experience.
See if you are ready to take an online course – click here to take the online learner self-diagnostic.
Read more about the skills necessary to be successful in an online course by clicking here.