Keys to Successful Online Learning
While regular schools still exist, the virtual classroom plays an important role in today's learning community. Job opportunities for students are expanding rapidly and more people of all ages are becoming aware of online learning that allows them to study at home. Online students, however, require unique qualities to be successful. The following list discusses some ideal qualities of successful online students.
1. Be open-minded about sharing life, work, and learning experiences as part of online learning.
Many different people find that the online method requires them to use their experiences and that online learning offers them a place to communicate with each other. This forum for communication removes the visual barriers that hinder some students from expressing themselves. In addition, students are given time to reflect on the information before replying. In this way, students can help to keep the online environment open and friendly.
2. Be able to communicate through writing.
In the virtual classroom nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that students feel comfortable expressing themselves in writing. Some students have limited writing abilities which need to be improved before or as part of the online experience. This usually requires extra commitment by these students. Whether working alone or in a group, students share ideas, perspectives and discussions on the subject being studied, and read about those of their classmates. In this way, students gain great insight from their peers, learning from each other as well as the instructor.
3. Be willing to "speak up" if problems arise.
Remember that instructors cannot see their students in an online course. This means students must be absolutely explicit with their comments and requests. If they experience technical difficulties, or problems in understanding something about the course, they MUST speak up; otherwise there is no way anyone can know something is wrong. If one person does not understand something, possibly several others have the same problem. If another student is able to help, she/he probably will. While explaining something to others, students reinforce their own knowledge about the subject.
4. Take the program seriously.
Online learning is not easier than study in regular classrooms. In fact, many students say it requires much more time and effort. Requirements for online courses are not less than those of any quality program. Successful students, however, see online learning as a convenient way to receive their education — not an easier way. Many online students sit at computers for hours at a time during evenings and on weekends in order to complete their assignments. When other people are finished and having fun is most likely the time when online students do their course work. Online students need to commit 4 to 15 hours a week for each course.
5. Accept critical thinking and decision making as part of online learning.
Online courses require students to make decisions based on facts as well as experience. It is absolutely necessary for students to assimilate information and make the right decisions based on critical thinking. In a positive online environment, students feel valued by the instructor, by their classmates and by their own work.
6. Be able to think ideas through before replying.
Providing meaningful and quality input into the virtual classroom is an essential part of online learning. Time is given to allow for careful development of answers. Testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged. Many times online students will not always be right; they just need to be prepared to accept a challenge.
7. Keep up with the progress of the course.
Online learning is normally sequential and requires commitment on the students' part. Keeping up with the face-to-face class and completing all work on time is vital. Once students get behind, it is almost impossible to catch up. Students need to want to be there and need to want the experience. The instructor may have to communicate with students personally to offer help and remind them of the need to keep up.
Just as many excellent instructors may not be effective online facilitators, not all students have the necessary qualities to perform well online. People who have the qualities discussed above usually make very successful online students. If you have these qualities, learning online may be one of the best discoveries you will ever make.
n. a group of people living together and/or united by the same interest, religion or nationality 社区，社会，团体，界
v. 1. (cause to) increase in size, number, degree or volume （使）扩大，（使）扩张，（使）扩展
2. grow larger 膨胀
a. having knowledge or understanding 意识到的，知道的
a. 1. being the only one of its type 惟一的，独特的，独一无二的
2. unusual 极不寻常的，极好的
a. next 接着的，下述的
n. a group of supporters or admirers 一批追随者