Indicators for Successful Virtual Learners
The vision of Virtual Loudoun is to cultivate quality, flexible, self-paced, virtual learning.
Students who are successful in online courses generally have the following characteristics:
Online 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 Virtual Loudoun 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 the Virtual Loudoun calendar and deadlines.
Set a Schedule & Keep to It
To be successful, students must be organized in setting and working by a schedule that allows them to keep up with the recommended pacing of their course. This requires a balance of priorities among the online course, face-to-face classes and extracurricular activities. Virtual Loudoun students need to dedicate an average of 9 hours per week for a full credit course in a 15-week term and 14 hours per week for a full credit course in a 10-week summer term.
Take Responsibility for the Learning Process
Successful Virtual Loudoun 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. Virtual Loudoun students usually have strong motivation and commitment to complete tasks. These traits, in addition to a willingness 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 Virtual Loudoun 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”. Virtual Loudoun 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. Virtual courses are not shorter or easier than traditional coursework, but they are more flexible. Therefore, it is imperative that Virtual Loudoun 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.