Understanding the Traits of a Successful Online Learner
As our world becomes increasingly digital, we’re seeing an explosion of eLearning solutions. Higher education institutions are offering more online course options than ever before, and many organizations have been turning to online learning to ensure their employees have the proper skills and training to succeed.
To gain a better understanding of the characteristics associated with successful online learning, we recommend that you read the following article from Minnesota State University: What Makes a Successful Online Learner?
Key Takeaways from This Article
Learning experts at Minnesota State University have identified the 7 elements as being critical to online learning success:
Persistence – Persistence is one of the most important factors contributing to successful online learning. Students who respond best to online courses have the drive to do their course work on a daily basis, seek out assistance when they experience challenges, and have the ability to work through technical issues when they arise.
Strong time management skills – Online courses offer flexibility to complete the work on your own schedule. This is highly beneficial for many individuals trying to fit their coursework into a busy life, but it also requires strong time management skills to ensure you’re able to complete all assignments in a timely manner. Students who are able to review the syllabus at the start of the course and develop a consistent schedule for completing major assignments typically experience greater success in an eLearning format than students who are prone to procrastination.
Strong communication skills – In-person learning gives the instructor an opportunity to check in with students to determine when they may need additional help. This help is available in online courses, but the student must be able to effectively communicate their need for assistance to the instructor. Online courses which provide a multitude of tools which allow students to communicate with their teachers will set students up for greater success.
Basic technical skills – While online learners don’t need to be technology wizards, they do need to possess certain basic computer and technology skills to complete their coursework. eLearning courses which provide tutorials explaining these basic skills will set less technologically proficient students up for greater success.
Reading and writing skills – Online courses are typically reading and writing intensive. Students must be comfortable reading numerous documents on computer screens. In addition, they must have the writing skills to complete assessments containing both short- and long-answer written responses. Strong typing skills are also valuable, as this will cut down on the time it takes a student to complete these assessments.
Independence and internal motivation – Online learning courses require students to be able to work independently and have significant internal motivation. Without an in-person instructor to keep you motivated and on task, these traits are essential for success in an eLearning environment.
Ability to create a good study environment – Most people complete online courses in the comfort of their own home. While this is convenient, it becomes extremely important to understand how to create the proper study environment to avoid the many distractions found in a home setting. You can set online learners up for success by providing some tips for creating an effective study environment at the start of your course. These tips should include advice on how to limit distractions and tips for how to create a proper ergonomic environment.
For a deeper explanation of these items, we encourage you to read the full article linked above.
Leveraging this Information to Elevate the Success of Online Learners
Failing to understand the elements and traits that contribute to successful online learning can have devastating consequences for your students. It can create a situation where certain students are inherently more likely to succeed than others. To ensure all your eLearning students are set up for success, you should provide resources in our online courses which give students who lack these traits some tools to cultivate them. This may include:
Suggested schedules for students who lack time management skills
Resources for technical assistance to help individuals who are less computer savvy
Varied communication tools so that students can reach out to instructors in their preferred communication method
Bench-mark check-ins throughout the course to ensure students are keeping up with their coursework
Let Beyond Campus Innovations Help
Crafting an eLearning program that sets all of your students up for success is a complex and nuanced process that requires extensive experience understanding the unique ways in which online learning differs from in-person learning. As the industry leader in learning development innovation, Beyond Campus Innovations can help you get the most out of your program.
Our exclusive Learning Transformation Platform™ delivers a more effective, sustainable and impactful experience for your students. It also makes it easier for your organization to plan, execute and sustain a successful online learning program into the future. We accomplish this by:
Defining your critical learning success elements
Planning and designing custom courses for your organization
Creating the modules used to deliver your courses (including all testing and necessary revisions)
Launching your system on the LMS of your choice and providing all necessary integrations with your other systems
Evaluating your eLearning data in order to make any course updates necessary to elevate the success of your students
BCI’s Learning Transformation Platform™ raises the bar for what can be achieved with online learning. This will result in a more impactful experience that will benefit your organization for years to come.
Contact us to learn how BCI can improve your organization’s online learning program.