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Is Online Learning Right for you?
5 Characteristics of a Good Online Learner

Updated: March 15, 2024 | Published: April 19, 2017

Updated: March 15, 2024

Published: April 19, 2017


As you consider starting out on your online education journey, you have to ask yourself, will it be a good fit? To see if you have what it takes, and how UoPeople can help, here are 5 characteristics of a good online learner.

1.Are you an independent learner?

Studying online means studying with people from all over the world, but it also means you’ll rarely, if ever, meet your classmates in person. In this environment, being able to study independently is a big advantage. Being an independent learner means figuring things out on your own, asking good questions and learning to answer them. It means looking things up, and breaking problems down.

At UoPeople, courses are taught with small classes and center around online discussion. Every week you’ll ask questions about the reading, and answer classmates questions. While working independently is important, you’ll always have classmates around to help.

2.How is Your Time Management Skills?

Studying online gives you much greater freedom to manage your time. You don’t need to be at a lecture at 9am on Monday, and you don’t have to study every day. But while fitting school around your schedule is a big help, you need strong time management skills to make sure you actually get your work done.

Time management means setting aside enough time to do your assignments, knowing what you have to do, and not procrastinating too much while you do it.

At UoPeople most assignments are weekly, so you don’t have to plan big projects over a long time. We also never require students to be online at the same time, making it as easy as possible to fit in school where you can, no matter your time zone or circumstances.

3.Do you have the time to invest in your courses?

Although you can save time taking online courses if you wish to succeed you must have plenty of time devoted to learning. Online education gives you greater flexibility in setting your hours, but you must see for yourself how much time you can find for it. Remember, once you start you will see for yourself how to fit in school with work and other commitments, but you should still plan ahead, maybe setting aside certain days for it.

We recommend at least 15 hours of study every week, for each UoPeople course. We offer options of both full time and part time study, of one, two, or sometimes three courses, so you can find the academic load that’s right for you.

4.Internet and Basic Computer Skills:

Online study is just that, online. It is essential to have regular access to a computer with internet, to read course materials, turn in your homework, and talk to your classmates and instructor.

You also need basic computer skills. Typing, searching online, and feeling comfortable using the school’s website are important. Just as important as writing, having paper and pencils, and attending classes are, in traditional schools.

For us at UoPeople, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you are a traveling business man, or cannot access the internet at home. All study materials are text based, so you can download them and learn without a constant internet connection. Every week you will find new material and take part in class discussion, but a daily internet connection is by no means required for success.

5.Will You Take the Initiative:

When questions come up, are you comfortable and willing to take the initiative to contact your instructors?

Whether it’s to clarify the assignment or to understand some point better, you will often need your instructor’s help to finish assignments. This is true in all education, but online education has its own strengths and weaknesses. You can’t raise your hand or ask someone after class. You will have to reach out to your instructor or classmates directly. On the other hand, online means you can type up your questions, and think exactly what you want to ask.

At UoPeople instructors are very accessible, and happy to answer questions. The student community is strong as well, and if you take the initiative you will not only find help, you may also find friends.

There you have it. If you think you have all or most of these characteristics, you might just find online education is the thing for you. If not, don’t worry. You can get better at these with time, either by improving your skills or finding the right solutions. Either way, by keeping these traits in mind as you begin your online education journey, you will line yourself up for success.