What Makes a Successful E-Learner?
On the surface, e-learning sounds like the perfect learning experience.
You complete your classes and lessons online so you never have to worry about being late to class, there is no getting called on randomly in class and suffering through the embarrassment of being unprepared or not knowing the answer and it undeniably offers more flexibility to a jam-packed schedule. It sounds like the perfect solution!
So why then are some people struggling so much with a process that sounds so good? Does e-learning cater to all learning types, or is it better suited for a certain kind of person? Are there certain characteristics that someone embarking on the e-learning journey need to possess?
There must be a high level of discipline
If you’re going to complete your classes via an e-learning experience, you have to be able to actually make the time to sit down in front of the computer and do it. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the “I can do that later…” mindset when there is no set class time forcing you to be present and prepared. Procrastination is a vicious cycle, so for those that are severe procrastinators, e-learning may not be the best option. On the flip side of that, if you are disciplined enough to make yourself sit down every day and complete your classwork, e-learning could be the perfect way to fit in classes into a busy schedule that can’t accommodate the regular class schedule.
You have to be able to work well alone
If you are one of those people that always wants to work independently versus being forced to work in a group, then e-learning can provide the perfect opportunity for just that. This is perfect for the people that can’t relinquish control to others in group settings. Of course, it’s not the best set-up for people that thrive in group settings or need other people around them to stay motivated. Because you are attending a virtual classroom and the work is completed on your own time at home you rarely have to worry about relying on others to pull their own weight in a group project and you have full control over how the project or assignment turns out.
The technology you’re using should be up to date
Because everything is done virtually, it’s important to have a computer that you aren’t worried about crashing every five seconds and that can download information quickly and efficiently. While you can’t always predict the outcome of how a website will be responding, things will go much smoother if you are working on a computer that is operating at high speeds, especially in situations such as when you’re submitting answers to a test.
There’s nothing worse than having a webpage time out when you’ve spent the last hour submitting test answers, only to have to start completely over again. You also need to be somewhat computer savvy and not be trying to figure out how to do certain things on the computer as you go – this can cause a lot of frustration and hinder the learning process.
There’s no doubt that e-learning is opening up doors of opportunity to people that were struggling to find ways to fit in classes and further their education before. But to be able to be a successful student in a virtual world you need to possess certain characteristics that will cater to that success. More and more we’re learning that there is no one-size-fits-all for learning, and e-learning offers a different match for people who didn’t fit the mold of the traditional classroom before.
About the Author: Debra Johnson is a blogger and editor of liveinnanny.com