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Netiquette | Is online learning for me? | Learning to Learn


The requirements for online learning are just as challenging as that of any other quality educational program. Online learning is a more convenient way for distance students to receive education, but not an easier way. In order to be a successful distance learner you should:

1. Communicate through writing. In the online classroom, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that you feel comfortable expressing yourself in writing and be comfortable learning without face-to-face interaction.

2. Be self-motivated and self-disciplined. Successful distance students are self-starters. They don’t require classroom interaction to be motivated. They understand that the freedom and flexibility of the online environment comes with the responsibility of commitment and also the discipline to keep up with the flow of course assignments.

3. Speak up if problems arise. The instructor cannot see the student, so distance students must be willing to communicate. Otherwise the instructor will never know what is wrong.

4. Have reliable access to a computer and Internet connection. The classroom is accessed through the Web. The learner must have access to a computer with an Internet connection to take part in the classroom.

5. Think ideas through before responding. Meaningful, quality input in a virtual classroom setting is an essential part of the learning process. Time is given in the process to allow for the careful consideration of responses. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged; you will not always be right, just be prepared to accept a challenge.

6. Do not procrastinate. Distance students appreciate the ability to complete their course work in as much time as it takes them, but they must take into consideration assignment due dates.  Effective distance learners make it a habit to begin working on each new course as soon as course materials are received.Remember that online learning is not easier than the traditional face-to-face courses. In fact, many students say it requires more time and commitment.

7. Resist constant distractions.  Distance students know how to filter out the constant diversions that threaten their progress (whether it’s phone ringing off the hook, the kids screaming in the kitchen, or the allure of the TV, etc.). They feel comfortable turning down an invitation or letting the machine pick up the phone when they know there is work to be done.

8. Use available resources. You should make maximum use of the library, class materials, and learning support services (ex. eTutoring). When confronted with a problem, you should assume responsibility for defining your needs and identifying available resources.

9. Value high quality learning outside the traditional classroom. If you feel that a traditional classroom is a prerequisite to learning, you may be more comfortable in a traditional classroom setting. An online learner should expect to:

    • Participate in the virtual classroom almost every day
    • Respond to classmates' ideas and questions
    • Use technology properly
    • Complete assignments on time
    • Enjoy communication in writing

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