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Online Student Success Center   

Characteristics of Effective Online Learners

There isn't a single set of characteristics that one must possess to be a successful online learner.  However, most agree that it is important to :

  • Have a higher level of motivation and self-discipline than is required in traditional face-to-face courses.
  • Have or be willing to develop computer skills.
  • Spend more time studying than in a traditional face-to-face course.

 Some characteristics of successful online students

  • Must be self-directed and conscientious about completing assignments. 
    • Students will not have someone there face-to-face to remind them of assignments.
    • Students will need to be able to follow directions or be willing to initiate communication with the instructor when they have a question.
    • Students may get less direct feedback and may need to monitor their own progress more closely.
  • Have strong time management and organizational skills.
  • Be willing to use new technologies they have not tried before
  • Not be procrastinators
  • Be careful readers who are precise about following written directions

There are plenty of Readiness for Online Learning Surveys.  Here is one more. Take this survey, then read the explanation for each item.

Perhaps you have wondered if you possess the characteristics of a successful online learner.  Take a look at this list of suggestions about how you might become a more effective online learner.


 Content Manager: Anita Crawley

Questions: Germantownn | Rockville | SilverSpring/Takoma Park
Last Updated: February 28, 2007