APU Careers & Learning Editor's Pick Online Learning

5 Traits of an Online Learner

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Every student is unique in their own way. Whether they chose the path of asynchronous learning (online), or synchronous (brick and mortar), they possess a set of traits that led them to their education platform choice.

An online education is asynchronous, which means that it is student-centered and uses online learning to share information outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people. So, it would seem to be an online learner you would need to be a self-starter, and unreliant on the more heavily focused peer engagement you would expect on a campus in a physical classroom. While you won’t be talking to your professors and classmates face-to-face everyday, you’ll still have the opportunity as an online student to network and chat with classmates through social media and the classroom.

[5 Questions to Ask if You’re Ready to Go Virtual]

So, what traits would help identify an online learner? Several different words come to mind, but there about 5 that standout everytime you think of the online education landscape:

  1. Self-motivated
  2. Curious
  3. Critical thinker
  4. Time keeper
  5. Independent

[Online University – Is it Right for Me?]

Instructors are present throughout the online experience, but you have to be motivated by yourself to be successful as an online student. You need to be curious about your subjects, and being a good critical thinker is especially important for your discussion posts. Time management is key in getting assignments completed on time, and not letting yourself get distracted by your freedom of surroundings. Being independent as an online learner means you have drive. The fact that you’re not getting dressed for class every day, and still “attending” and submitting assignments on time says a lot. There’s nobody there to scold you in person for handing something in late, you’ll need to parent yourself!

[Learn more about online degrees and certificates at American Public University. ]

If you’re interested in how you can become an online learner, do your research, check out the accreditation on a school before you get too serious, and check out the school’s social media environment and atmostphere.

Happy learning!

By J. Mason

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