Being an Online Student

Being an online students requires a specific skill and expectactions. Learn more about how to successfully attend online courses.

Successful skill set

There are countless techniques for managing time, accompanied by as many good intentions. Effective managers of time and work choose the principles they will honor and then align their methods to support those principles. The six principles of time management are:

  • Be Thorough
  • Be Orderly
  • Be Realistic
  • Be Reliable
  • Be Kind
  • Be Accountable

Read more about the principles of time management here (PDF).

A successful online learner requires three sets of skills:

Soft skills

  • Time management
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to work in teams
  • Good at writing

Technical skills

  • Adept at using computer hardware and software

Modern skills

  • Information literate
  • Web-savvy

Expectations of a student

Students preparing to take an online course should have:

A strong sense of self-motivation.
A student should be able to participate in courses and show up to do assignments on a self-motivated basis, as online courses are often done on their own schedule.

Strong and independent time management skills.
This is important for the student who is taking courses online while also working and/or taking care of a family.

A support system.
This can be a family member, a friend, a professor, or an advisor - someone who can help a person when they are struggling to push them to move forward with their work.

Strong interaction with their professor.
It is important to feel a part of the class through communications with a professor.

A perception that they are able to complete all of their work.
A student should sign up for online courses only when they feel they can realistically work on and complete assignments on a daily and weekly basis.

A perception of ability to solve problems and think analytically.
Many courses require students use analytical thinking and problem solving skills; a student must be confident in their ability to do so in order to successfully learn their area of study.

Are you ready to be an online student? Take this online learning aptitude test to find out.

Faculty Profile

Nancy Waldron, Ph.D.Chair of Marketing & Management; Associate Professor of MarketingDr. Waldron's principal scholarly interests lie in the business marketing arena, primarily in the field of entrepreneurship.  

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