What Makes Successful Online Learner?
Q: I'm looking for information about what makes a good online learner,
particularly as it relates to learning styles. Anybody know a good
A:I cannot quote a single source, but I'll throw in my two cents. Online learning probably requires at least average intelligence with at least age expectant cognitive ability in processing information visually and tactiley. An online learner must be capable of processing and integrating visual information. Fine motor skills, such as keyboarding, is likewise essential. A person with a particular strength in the auditory mode would not likely do as well online as they would in-class where the primary delivery system is lecture. Now, of course one could verbalize the online text to themselves to reinforce their understanding of the material, but that is not likley to be as efficient of a learning tool as direct lecture, supplemented by visuals such as the chalkboard, would be. Online learners require much motivation and discipline. Above average skills in time management and planning/organization is essential The ability to work independently is likewise a key to success. Learning disabled people often demonstrate difficulty organizing and planning. Past difficulties in learning may also necessitate a greater degree of academic counseling than would be posible online. As such, online education might not be the best first choice for them, unless of course, their weakness is in the auditory mode. In addition, the ability to work at one's own pace within limits may actually be advatagous. Some people, with or without learning disabilities, can successful complete academic work with a modest time extention such as that most likely available through distance learning programs. A person who is particularly sociable may find online learning discerning, particulrly in the context of the lack of face to face experiences. (There is, Dixie, current research on the effects of the internet on the socialization process in young children.) The isolation and lack of physical contact would not be beneficial in this case. On a simpler level, one who has not mastered computer basics---keyboarding, e-mail, word processing---would also likely find online learning difficult. To sum up, people such as those who demonstrate the following might succeed at online learning: 1. Abililty to learn and process information visually. 2. Ability to plan and organize. 3. Possess time management skills. 4. Have the abilty to work independently without much direct supervision or guidance. 5. Have the ability to work in isolation. 6. Have mastered the basic technology skills such as e-mail, internet and word processing. 7. The ability to synthesize and apply learning. 8. Ability to demonstrate acquisition of knowledge through writing. 9. The ability to write clearly and concisely on a college (or graduate school) level.
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