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How to Be a Successful Online Student

February 3, 2015 On-Line Learning, SBC-Online, General 0 Comments

Taking online classes isn't for everyone, so what kind of person succeeds at online learning? The following is a look at how to be a successful online student and the four personality and lifestyle traits that help students achieve educational and professional success:

1. Independence and Adaptability

Taking an online course requires a certain level of independence and adaptability when it comes to studying. Whether the course is in digital media production, retail merchandise management, building information modeling or information technology, online students will be required to set their own hours and work through their own study plans. This will require initiative and dedication. Self-directed learning is not always easy, so it is important for students to have motivation and a sense of organization.

When examining how to be a successful online student, a good tip is to set out a road map for the entire course. This means plotting out what is expected for the duration of the class and highlighting important dates, particularly the due dates for assignments. Successful students review their assignment instructions regularly to ensure they are at the top of their game and are paying attention to detail.

How to Be a Successful Online Student2. A Good Study Environment

Before starting to study online, it is imperative that students create a good study environment. Good light, a suitable desk and a dedicated study area will give you a head start. The fact that you will not be in a classroom or lecture hall environment on a full-time basis means that you should pay even more attention to your study area at home so that your online learning will be as comfortable and productive as possible. Plan weekly study times and plot them into a timetable. It is also a good idea to participate in any available online forums to share ideas, compare notes and see how your progress compares with other students' progress. Setting aside specific study days and hours is an example of good time management and can be vital to success, particularly if you are juggling work commitments.

3. Ambition

Whether it's Web design and development, fashion merchandising, graphic design or software engineering, another asset to have is an ambitious personality, which will help with setting targets and maintaining momentum. One of the challenges of online learning is that you will not have the full-time, physical company of fellow students and lecturers, so you will need extra personal motivation to ensure you achieve your goals. An ambitious personality is a good trait for online students since they can take the initiative to connect with students and tutors in a meaningful way. Tutors are there to help out and support students, so if you have a question or need something clarified, just ask.

4. Technical and Communication Skills

Online learning requires a certain level of technical and communication acumen to ensure you will be able to maximize the resources available to you through online learning. These resources include participating in webinars, building a learning community with classmates, creating study groups and using resources such as Google Docs and Google+ Hangouts for group projects. Ensure you are up-to-date with your technical skills before you begin your course to save you time and streamline your learning experience. Learn from your fellow students and establish how they are best using technology to help them study.

Online learning has many challenges, and self-directed study does require a particular set of skills. When examining how to be a successful online student, the good news is that these skills can be learned, and studying online can prove to be exceptionally rewarding for students.

Photo credit: Flickr

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