25 April 2013

Are You the Kind of Student Who Can Excel in an Online School?

Online degree programs are increasingly common today as employers embrace this delivery format as a valuable method for training tomorrow’s leaders. Some students respond better to in-person classes if they have different learning styles, while others have the traits necessary to excel in online degree programs. Here are a few of the common attributes and other aspects that generally lend to success in online education.

Exceptional Time Management Skills


Image via Flickr by @bastique

Some online degree programs require students to attend virtual classes at specific times, while others are entirely self-directed. In either case, students who have good time management skills perform better in online education programs. That’s because they’re able to prioritize and complete tasks self-sufficiently, even when there’s no professor looking over their shoulders.

Flexibility to Balance Personal and Education Responsibilities


Flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of online degree programs, but it takes self-motivation to balance that flexibility. You may be able to attend class whenever it’s convenient for you, but you still must attend to reap the full benefits and be successful in the program. It’s easy to let school responsibilities go in favor of personal demands when you don’t have to show up in the classroom every day.

Above Average Writing Abilities


It’s hard to administer exams in an online education program. Much of the coursework for online courses involves written assignments to gauge students’ learning. Students with good writing skills navigate these requirements with ease, while those with below-average writing abilities will struggle with the writing aspect. This may result in lower grades based on writing ability, even if the student has mastered the course material.

Proficient with Technology


As an online student, you’ll be spending a great deal of time on the computer. You may be researching, attending live lectures, communicating with professors and other students via instant messaging or group conferences, using complex software and more. Spending more time trying to figure out the technology you need to use to attend class and communicate with your instructors leaves you less time to focus on studying.

Comfort with Virtual Communications


Online schools, such as Bryant & Stratton Online schools, rely heavily on virtual communications. Not only do you need to be comfortable with the technology you’re using, but you need to be comfortable reaching out and asking questions via email and other formats. Students who embrace virtual communications and are at ease communicating through electronic communications are more successful navigating online education programs.

Access to an Appropriate Study Space


Online courses require students to access materials using their own resources and facilities. Students who have a quiet, dedicated workspace remain more focused and have an easier time managing their time and priorities. It’s tough to study when you’re surrounded by pets, children and other distractions common in the home environment.

Online education programs provide a number of benefits beyond traditional classroom settings. Students who adapt readily to the online delivery format and have the drive and motivation to self-direct their own course of study generally do better in online programs than students who require more supervision. But any student can succeed with the right tools and support in any setting.

Author Bio: 
Angela Stringfellow is a professional freelance writer and content marketing strategist. When she's not busy producing compelling content and executing digital marketing campaigns for clients, she spends most of her time enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and two sons.

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