Characteristics of a successful online learner graphic banner

Self-motivated
Students can direct their own learning environment and methods to fulfill course requirements and achieve individual academic success. Good online students can develop techniques to stay involved and interested in their online course. This is important because if a student does not drop his or her NCVPS course by the tenth day of class, the student will receive a grade for the course that will go on his or her transcript.

Independent Learner
The online environment enables students to learn at their own pace, relieving the stress of feeling rushed or pressured and providing enjoyment in the learning process. Online courses are not an easy way out, though. You will have the same amount of work as you do in a traditional course, but you have the option to log in and work 24/7.

Computer Literate
Although it is not necessary to have advanced computer skills, students should possess a working knowledge of electronic e-mail, the Internet, as well as basic keyboarding skills. Successful online learners do have easy access to computers and the Internet. Even if you have a computer at school, you will be more successful if you have additional access elsewhere.

Good Time Management
Students must be able to organize and plan their own best “time to learn.” There is no one best time for everyone, but the key to learning is to make the time to learn.

Effective Communicator
Students must use electronic e-mail and discussion forums to communicate with their peers as well as the instructors. The ability to write clearly to communicate ideas and assignments is essential. This method provides the learner with rapid feedback as well as a means to inform instructors of any concerns or problems that they may be experiencing. In addition, a good online student will ask for help when there is a problem. For instance, if your password does not work, ask for help immediately. Do not wait for two or three days. It might take a day to fix the problem, and you cannot miss a week of work in your online course.

Personal Commitment
Because there are no bells that begin and end classes, students must have a strong desire to learn and achieve knowledge and skills via online courses. Making a commitment to learn in this manner is a very personal decision and requires a strong commitment to perform in order to achieve academic success. Remember that an NCVPS course is much like a traditional course at school. You will receive a grade at the end of the course that will go on your transcript.

Academic Readiness
The student should have the basic reading, writing, math and computer literacy skills to succeed in the class.

Technologically Prepared
A successful online learner knows how to open, create and/or save a document; use various technology tools (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus, grammar checker, calculator); and identify various file formats (e.g., doc, xls, pdf, jpg).