Do You Have What It Takes to be a Great Online Learner?

Barry Lenson

online classesDo you have what it takes to be a strong online learner?

That’s a good question. There’s no doubt that certain skills, attitudes and resources are needed to be an effective online learner. The same could be said of classroom learners too, but here’s a short list of traits you do and don’t need to be a good online student.

Things You Don’t Need When Taking Online Classes

Let’s start by listing some traits that you don’t need to succeed as a distance learner. You don’t need . . . 

  • Advanced computer skills.
  • A whole room in your home that you can use as your classroom.
  • A scanner, a printer or lots of other expensive computer peripherals.
  • A car so you can commute to campus.
  • A fridge or other dorm furnishings.
  • A meal plan.
  • A new wardrobe.


Here’s some stuff that you will need while taking online classes. . .

  • A modern, stable computer that runs a current operating system.
  • A quiet area, separated from family areas, where you can study and pursue your online work.
  • A reliable way to back up your work.
  • A schedule that allows you sufficient sleep and rest.
  • A strong and reliable Internet connection or access to one at a library or other location where you plan to work.
  • About one hour available every day to complete coursework for each online course.

Personal Abilities and Traits 

And here are some “extras” that will separate you from the pack and help assure your success . . .

  • A vision about what you would like to achieve in your life and career.
  • A willingness to ask questions from course instructors.
  • Ability to accept and utilize constructive feedback.
  • Ambition to get ahead and better your life.
  • Independence. (No one will be looking over your shoulder to keep you disciplined.)
  • Motivation.
  • The discipline to log on and do your coursework daily.

Also . . .

A group of family members and friends who support your educational goals can help you a lot too. But if you have the traits outlined above, chances are that you already have what it takes to be a successful online student.

Related Posts
StraighterLine Reports on Working Moms and Online Learning
Can You Train Your Brain with Online Learning?
Online Learning Creates a Learning Climate in Your Home
10 Things You Won’t Need if You Are a StraighterLine Student

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