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5 Reasons Why People Fail Online Education

Aug 17, 2007
Online education is becoming a more popular way to get one's degree today because it is more convenient to earn one's degree from the comfort of his/her own home and at one's own pace. The fast-paced lifestyle of today makes it more difficult for working adults, especially those with families, to take time out of their busy schedules and go to traditional classrooms on university campuses in order to obtain or upgrade their degrees.

However, online education is not the same as offline education in terms of how the classes are structured and how the material is taught.

There are many reasons why people fail online education:

1. The person is not used to working in an online classroom setting.

An online classroom is considerably different from a traditional classroom. There are rarely textbooks; most course material is presented online on web-pages, in downloadable reports, and in video and audio lectures.

In addition, you don't sit in a traditional classroom with other people sitting next to you, behind you, or in front of you. Instead, they are on their computers at home or elsewhere, looking at the same course material you are, so you have no direct contact with them. You usually can "talk" to them via message boards or forums, making posts that anyone in the class can respond to, and vice versa.

In some rare instances, you might talk to them or your professor via the phone, but direct contact is not usually possible, and some students who are trying online education for the first time cannot overcome the lack of interaction and direct dialogue to complete the coursework and pass the course.

2. The person is not used to the rigorous expectations from a professor teaching an online course.

Online education is a new experience for professors as well, as this is a whole new medium for them to teach what they know. Some professors are more willing to embrace this new way of learning than others.

Some professors feel that they have to "make up" for the lack of interaction and direct dialogue that you would get in a traditional classroom setting, so they give you more assignments to complete than they would their traditional students, just to make sure that you are getting the education you should be getting because these professors are not confident or convinced that online education give you the same level of knowledge as traditional education does.

Some students cannot handle the extra workload and demands expected from some online professors, which is another reason why some students can't complete online coursework.

3. The person is not able to deal with the extra distractions associated with online learning.

When you take an online course, you do so on your computer. Often, this is at home, where other distractions can affect some online students. This includes children and/or pets who are unruly and/or need constant care. Other worries regarding home life can also distract the online student from doing his/her very best, since he/she is still in the same environment even when he/she is "attending class."

This can prove to be too much for some online students, resulting in them not completing online courses.

4. The person doesn't have the computer skills necessary to complete the online courses.

For those who are trying to start a brand new career, especially one that is technically challenging, sometimes, the whole experience of working with computer software and programs that you have never used before can prevent students from doing well in their courses.

Not only do they have to try to learn the course material, but they also have to learn how to access the course material, how to ask for help when they need it via the message boards/forums, how to access the tests when they are ready to take them, etc.

For some online students, the experience is so overwhelming that they don't succeed in completing their courses.

5. The person does not utilize good time management skills in order to keep up with the online coursework.

In order to be successful in the online classroom, you have to have good time management skills. After all, you're the only one who decides when you "attend class," when you take the tests (within reason; there is a time limit to complete the course, but you decide what days you take the tests, unlike the traditional classroom,) how much time you spend on the message board or in the forum, etc.

Some online students can't designate their time between all the tasks required to complete online courses, as well as balance the rest of their lives.

It is suggested that online students stay current on their coursework as much as possible because once you fall behind, it's very difficult to catch up, especially if you are not comfortable in an online classroom setting in the first place. Most experts suggest logging in at least once a day at least six days a week to give you the best chance of staying current on your coursework and giving you the best chance of completing your online courses.

By being aware of the reasons above, you can better prepare yourself to handle these challenges and give you a better chance of completing those online courses and your degree.
About the Author
Bryan Wong is the owner of www.OneStopEducationSearch.com, a website that provides you a unique one-stop-search-service and high quality articles. Visit www.OneStopEducationSearch.com for great tips. Visit our giftshop and get an ebook on Time Management just for stopping by.
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