Are You Ready for Online Classes? What it Takes to be an Online Student You Must be an Independent Learner and a Self-Motivated Student
Taking an online course requires that you be an independent learner. What does this mean? Taking an online course is not like taking a traditional classroom course. It requires different characteristics in order to be successful. If you fit the following characteristics, you probably qualify.
- Distance learning is self-paced learning which increases your responsibility for completing your courses in a timely manner
- The distant learner demonstrates initiative in enrolling in courses and completing lessons.
- Distant learners are self-motivated, that is they are enthusiastic about their studies despite the absence of reminders from instructors.
- Distant learners are self-disciplined so that they can complete the work based upon the own desire to complete the lessons and courses in a timely manner.
- Distant learners are able to independently identify and resolve problems without relying on others for structure and direction.
- Distant learners are persistent in meeting a self-imposed schedule for completing lessons despite the distraction of work, family, and other obligations.
The Pros and Cons of Online Education
You’ve just read that online education requires a lot of motivation and self-discipline. If you aren’t scared off by this, then you may be wondering what benefits you will derive from taking an online course.
- Distant learners do not work under the usual constrains of time and location. Within reason, it is “anytime, anyplace” education.
- You can earn college credit without leaving your job.
- A self-paced schedule allows you to take as much time as needed to absorb the material.
- By meeting the challenge of independent study with motivation and self-discipline, you will be rewarded with success as well as a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction.
On the other hand, being a distance learner may have a down side, depending upon one’s perspective.
- Distance learning requires more time than a traditional class because of the reading and homework activities required to complete the course. One should expect to spend at least 2 hours a week for every credit hour of the course- at a minimum.
- Many students do not complete online courses because they do not assure themselves of their readiness for taking such a course. This might be a good time to go to the Student Readiness Survey to test your readiness.
- It is easy to give in to distractions. Distractions of everyday life can mean that you work late at night, or get up early to complete course lessons and assignments.