7 Traits of Highly Successful Online Learners

By Sean | May 20, 2013

Getting your college degree online sounds like every student’s dream. You can go to class whenever you want, wherever you want. No worries about parking, dorms, or schlepping a backpack full of books around campus. Instead of adapting to college, college adapts to you…on your own terms.

But we have to warn you: online learning isn’t for everyone.

There’s no doubt online learning is booming. Literally millions of people are taking classes online: in fact, recent research has found that almost one-third of people taking college classes are taking at least one of those classes online.  Unfortunately, a lot of them may be having trouble, especially with completing their degrees. And while there’s been a lot of debate as to why online learners might be less likely to finish, most agree that it comes down to what those in the biz call “e-readiness.”

There’s a lot of research detailing exactly what “e-readiness” is and why it’s such an important factor in online success (PDF link). But most of it boils down to a few key personality traits, learning styles, and technology skills. To be a good “e-learner” you should be:

  1. Good at working alone
  2. Organized
  3. Disciplined
  4. Good at managing your own time
  5. Persistent when it comes to learning things
  6. A good reader and a competent writer
  7. Reasonably competent with a computer and comfortable with learning new technology skills

Simply put: if you’re an absent-minded slacker who thinks that online learning is cool because it allows you to go to class in your underwear while eating last night’s pizza for breakfast at 2 pm, you might want to reconsider this whole “online learning” thing.

Of course, chances are if you’ve found this article yourself and have made it this far, you’re probably not someone who takes 12-hour naps or spends two hours a day looking for your keys. If so, you probably have what it takes to succeed with going to college online. Log in and learn!