The basis of each and every action we take, is motive i. e that which pulls you toward the goal you have set. If there is no logical connection between the goal and action, then you are bound to fail. The simple question which should ring in our mind when we consider learning should be; why enroll in an online course? If you can find the right answer, then this will energize you for the period of study since you will have reason to push on when the storms hit you.
The recent explosion of MOOCs, coursera, and many other free content in the Internet has led many student to flock into this course without considering whether they are worthy their time. Reason being they are free. The failure rate in online education is higher than in traditional classroom based set up. A report released in 2011, shows that on-line student are 10% more likely to fail as compared to their counterpart in traditional face-to-face set up.(http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/online-community-college-students-more-likely-fail-withdraw-11581).
The success in online course depends on many factors; technology, instructors, student e.t.c. Let’s focus on students today. What will make you an A student in an online course? Here are some of the attributes you need to succeed.
You must be self-motivated.
This will involve passion for what you are doing. Self-motivation will depend on the goals you set while enrolling for the course. Finding value in the course content, you peers and instructors will enable you to meet the requirement of the course.
2. You need to be an independent learner who is capable of “independently solving problems, gathering, and pursuing necessary contacts and follow-up.”(http://www.cu-portland.edu/online/attributes.cfm).Since most of the time you are alone, you must know how to manage you work schedule and seek necessary support.
3. Time management .In online learning, time management skill is a valuable asset for you success. You must balance work, study and other responsibility ensuring that the course you are taking is not under “other extra thing to do.”In order to be successful you must allocate enough time to the course which in fact may be more than the time used in a traditional classroom set up.
4. You must be a good communicator. Must online course involve use of written language to communicate with your peers and instructors. Thus as a student you must be able to express yourself courteously, with brevity, and in way that is that is easy to understand. You must recognize that you are interacting with people from different regions who may use words differently. You must be careful when expressing emotions due to lack of non-verbal cues.
5. You must be able to collaborate. Many online course will involve discussions, peer assessment e.t.c to foster a sense of a community. It is therefore imperative that you are to able work with other, criticize wisely and accept just criticism. Be ready to learn from others who are more knowledgeable in the area you are dealing with. Also be ready to help others by giving feedback in discussion forums and assessments, this is an indication that you understand the material and can be able to use the material for advancement of your career.
6. You must be able to set goals and fulfill them. Since you learn at your own pace and decide which assignment to do and at what time, you need to be able to set goals and be committed to them. Goal setting is vital if you will be able to beat deadlines and perform well in assignments. Also goal setting acts as motivation, each goal met, gives a boost which helps you to accomplish the next goal.
7. You need to be your own advocate. The instructor may not know that you have a problem unless you alert him/her. Example, is in peer assessment, if a peer gives you a grade that you feel does not reflect the information presented in your essay, contact the instructor and indicate this to him/her. You must distinguish between a right and a privileges.
8. Lastly, the below items will also boost your chance of getting better grades.
-Be computer literate.
Word processing, e-mail, searching the internet, file management skills, ability to install and uninstall software and knowledge of learning platform being used.
-Access to technology.
Access to computer and reliable internet connection are important in online learning.