Indicators for Successful Virtual Learners
Students who are successful in online courses generally have the following characteristics:
VL students must feel comfortable in a learning environment that places emphasis on individuals leading their learning process. 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 work of successfully completing a VL course.
Have Access to a Computer and Internet Service
The course content and interaction are accomplished via a computer (that meets the minimum technical requirements) connected to the Internet. Some content and activities may be accessible by mobile/Cell phones, but most online learning will be accomplished with a solid internet connection. Changes to the school calendar, such as snow days, will not change VL's calendar.
Set a Schedule & Keep to It
To be successful, students must be organized in setting a schedule that allows them to meet their due dates. This will require a balance of priorities among the online course, face-to-face classes, and extracurricular activities. It is suggested that VL students log in about nine hours a week on average for a full credit course.
Take Responsibility for the Learning Process
Successful VL students understand that their teacher are facilitators/coaches of the learning process and that the student must be a dedicated and task oriented self starter. VL students usually have strong motivation and commitment to complete tasks.These traits, in addition to not being afraid to ask questions after reviewing course content, help to create a successful online course experience. Even students who have not always had success in a traditional classroom may find success in VL through determination, interaction with their teacher, and pride in their work.
Strong Support from School and Home
Often taking a virtual course is something “new”. VL students may be the first person among family and friends to be a formal online learner. Often it is reported that the online course was "way more difficult" than anticipated. Because taking a online course can be more difficult than anticipated, it is imperative that VL students receive support from the school and from home. Students are far more likely to succeed if they have encouragement from adults who acknowledge the challenge and support the effort.