Online learning has been around for quite some time now. Yet, many students might find it difficult to adjust to its format. The reason behind it might be the accustoming to traditional learning practices. Well, all of us can succeed in online learning if we do what typical successful online students do.

Do you want to know what those students do to achieve their educational goals?

No worries, we’ll be sharing their characteristics down below. Read on to learn more.

Being Independent Learners

When we think of an online learner, our mental image we get in our heads is a student learning from the comfort of their own home in front of their computer. While this may be one of the benefits of being an online student, studying at your own pace, not all people find it easy to adjust to this way of learning. Especially those that are used to learning in the school environment with the teacher helping at every step of the way. In fact, this is one of the factors that makes or breaks an online learner’s success.

If you (an online learner) want to get the most out of online learning, you should learn to adjust to the new learning environment that places the responsibility for the learning process on the individual themselves. While in the classroom, one had the chance to interact with other fellow students and the teacher, the communication in the online classroom isn’t that immediate. While the instructors’ clarifications won’t be missed, students will have to learn to wait for answers to their emails for a few hours and even a day.

Having Effective Time Management Skills

Time management skills are a must-have in every life aspect. However, in online learning environments, their importance increases even more. As an online student, you will have to organize your time in a way that makes it possible for you to meet deadlines.

There are online classes with a set time, where you’ll be required to sign regularly, interact in group discussions, and join the lectures. Nevertheless, there are also classes where there isn’t a set time, where everything happens at the time you set for learning. While many might see it as a benefit, it could quickly turn into a drawback if you’re a chronic procrastinator. Keeping a routine where every activity planned for a particular day is finished on that day and not postponed can prove fruitful in your online learning success.


Being Self-Motivated and Self-Disciplined

We already discussed the flexibility aspect of online education. One thing you should keep in mind is that this flexibility comes with responsibility. If you aren’t a disciplined learner, things can get messy, and way before you realize, things may take a turn for the worse. Only by keeping yourself motivated to continue reading and finish assignments on time can you really become a successful online learner.

Following Netiquette Rules

One collective memory as children is our parents teaching us how to behave in social situations. We applied their lessons for years on end IRL (in real life). However, now that most of our lives have moved online, there is also a set of rules that one should follow online. Those rules are called netiquette rules.

A successful online student always respects the online classroom environment and talks respectfully to their instructor and peers. They know that getting their frustration out at their classmates isn’t necessary and also not polite.

Being Goal-Oriented

One of the characteristics of successful online learners is that they have a vision. They know that online education is a stepping stone to their successful career. That’s how they keep their head in the game and overcome difficulties that may arise along the way. Knowing how important it’s to follow the lectures, be part of the discussions, and deliver assignments on time, will keep them glued to their study schedule and online learning experience in general.


Having Basic Computer Skills

The computer is a significant part of the online learning process. Without it, the learning couldn’t take place. That’s why it’s important to be proficient in some of the most basic actions you can take with a computer, such as sending and receiving emails, using Word, and knowing how to navigate the program where your online classes take place. You don’t want to spend too much time on things that could have been learned before instead of focusing 100% on the lessons.

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Being Good Communicators

Communication skills are an essential part of the online learning experience. Everybody is counting on each other to be as open as they can. Not only with the instructor but also with the colleagues. You’ll have the chance to work with many of them on projects and assignments. If you don’t have these skills then, maybe there will be misunderstandings and as a result, you can lose points from a grade that could have been good.

Many people are great oral communicators, but not that good when it comes to written communication. It’s essential that you create clear, grammatically correct sentences with a respectful tone when communicating with your fellows and academic staff. There might be the chance that you’re used to using informal language in your other lines of communication. However, in this case, it would be better if you kept it professional.

Meeting Deadlines

One of the leading indicators of an online student’s success is them delivering required assignments on time. When a student never misses a deadline, they’re fully committed to their learning and managing the time to be part of classroom discussions, group activities, and assignments.


Choosing a Suitable Study Environment

Choosing the right space within your house where you’re going to spend quite a lot of time to study can be quite important for the overall success of your online learning experience. That corner should be a quiet space where not too many people hang out, and no one can disturb you. Sometimes, just a little noise can stop you from finishing your thought, and it will take time for you to go back to where you were.

Being Comfortable in Cyberspace

Online classes might not provide auditory elements or visual images of students. However, there is another way for you to present yourself to other students, such as joining class discussions and participating in group activities. It would be best if you get comfortable with people’s idea of creating an image of you solely on how you present yourself there.

Speaking Up When Problems Arise

Undoubtedly, the benefits of online learning are countless, but it’s impossible not to have at least one drawback. That drawback is the inability of the instructor to understand whether anything is going wrong through non-verbal communication (confusion, frustration, boredom, etc.) This type of communication isn’t possible to happen in an online classroom. That’s why you’re encouraged to use your voice and speak up if you’re having any troubles or difficulties; otherwise, the instructor will never know.

Compared to traditional learning, online learning can be a bit challenging for students, as the learning process is mostly dependent on them. That’s why many students might worry that they won’t ace their online learning experience. Our list includes 11 characteristics of successful online learners. If you want to know more, you can always turn to your college advisor. If you see yourself becoming one, then maybe you could adopt some of them. The more of these characteristics you assume, the more successful a student you’ll become.