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Three Key Factors for Student Success in a Virtual Program

Thursday, February 19, 2015 -- Ana Dowling

Virtual classes can open the academic world to students in all levels of education. Choosing to take an online class would seem to be an easy decision. There are no time constraints, and you can work at your own pace without experiencing the restrictions of a brick-and-mortar classroom. Yet, these same aspects that make online classes appealing can also lead to struggles and frustration. That's why being aware of what is needed to participate in and complete an online class is just as important as choosing which specific course to take.  

When starting an online class, there are three key factors that will help students succeed:

  1. A quiet and comfortable, dedicated workspace, equipped with all necessary materials, is essential to success in online courses. Virtual students need access to a phone and printer, as well as the specific software needed to complete their assignments (usually Microsoft Office® suite or a comparable program).
  2. Successful virtual students create a weekly schedule to make sure they complete all of the required assignments in the course. Setting aside blocks of uninterrupted time to work on the virtual course each week is a critical element for success in this environment.
  3. Although virtual courses can be completed from anywhere, they are not done in isolation. A student’s willingness to regularly communicate with his or her instructor will determine the amount of success that is experienced in the class.  

Online classes allow students the flexibility to retrieve lost credits, accelerate their paths to graduation, and participate in out-of-school activities that they would not be able to do if confined to a traditional school day. However, virtual classes can also be difficult. By preparing for the unique challenges presented by online courses in a proactive way, students can achieve great success in a virtual environment.

Interested in starting a virtual program at your school or district? Take a look at this resource on 7 Considerations When Choosing an Effective Virtual Program. You can also learn more about Edmentum’s fully-accredited virtual instruction solution, EdOptions Academy!