Online Learning: Examing the Successful Student Profile
Can anyone learn anywhere at anytime or are there required pre-requisite skills or strategies to achieve such learning? Certainly, it seems logical to assume that access, availability of hardware, and knowledge of software are some of the items required, but are there others? Are there strategies and skills that can be taught to promote greater success? Does the successful online learner need to possess specific skills or strategies to be successful? This paper details Phase I of a longitudinal study investigating distance learning students' technical skills, cognitive/metacognitive learning strategies, motivation, and stages of concern as they enter an online Masters of Education in Educational Technology degree program. Preliminary results indicate that the program seems to attract relatively new, young in-service teachers that are confident in their technology skills that might be seen as leaders in their field. Because the degree program demands a great deal of peer collaboration within the course work, particular attention was paid to data regarding the cognitive learning strategy of peer collaboration and help seeking. Although, these students indicated that they would utilize peer collaboration as a learning strategy, they might be more apt to utilize it from a help seeking aspect. However, they also indicated that if they did seek help it would probably be from the instructor first.