Although 77% of academic leaders surveyed in the Sloan Consortium’s 10th annual survey on the state of online learning rated online learning outcomes the same or superior to those of face-to-face courses, the lower completion and retention rates found in online courses suggest that some students may be better prepared for the challenges of distance education than others.
So, what student characteristics are a good predictor of success in online courses?
In his article, The Skills Both Online Students And Teachers Must Have, Todd A. Hitchcock, Senior Vice President of Online Solutions for Pearson Learning Solutions, suggests that good candidates for distance learning:
- Demonstrate good time management.
- Exhibit strong self-discipline.
- Are highly communicative.
- Are strongly self-motivated to learn.
- Demonstrate good critical thinking skills.
- Have basic technology skills.
This list of student characteristics is by no means exhaustive of the many factors that impact a student’s academic performance, but it is relevant to important conversations being held at the college about improving overall retention and completion rates.