Online Learning - 7 prerequisites to make it a success!

Updated: May 18, 2021

Contemplating online learning?

What are the 7 prerequisites for successful online learning? Are you contemplating booking an online class or a virtual tutor? Good for you! Online learning is safe, effective, and fun!

Crisis learning

During the closure of schools worldwide due to Covid-19, many parents and students experienced online teaching for the first time. In fact, the online or distant learning provided by mostly inexperienced and unprepared (in the area of online teaching) classroom teachers was more some kind of crisis teaching than actual online learning. We should really make that distinction between the crisis teaching during the sudden lockdown and online courses. The closure of the schools came rather unexpectedly to all of all us. But actual high-quality online courses are prepared thoughtfully and thouroughly by experts.

So why would you even consider a virtual teacher or tutor for your children or yourself? Didn't the lockdown show that distant learning is totally ineffective? Let me explain the seven prerequisites of successful online learning to show you that online learning is actually a great means for students of all ages!

Here are the 7 prerequisites for successful online learning:

  1. Personal connection

  2. Use feedback

  3. Good internet connection

  4. Set goals

  5. Discuss your goals with your online teacher

  6. Persistance

  7. Time management

1. Personal connection

First of all, online teaching is a relatively new way of teaching. Similarily, teachers and tutors have taught in-class for hundreds of years. Apart from some distance-learning in very remote areas, most of us were taught in person. Humans need to communicate with each other not only through language but also through eye contact, mimic and gestures. That way we can understand the other's messages and feelings. Yes, feelings. We need to connect! Studies show that students learn best when they feel comfortable and protected in their learning environment, no matter if it is a classroom in a school building or on a beach, for instance.

Firstly, teachers know how to create an atmosphere of trust and positivity for their students to achieve their learning goals. However, it seems so much harder to notice a student's frown or gesture when the teacher is not in the same room. Nevertheless, a good teacher will notice when something is wrong and address it gently.

Secondly, even shy students who would never talk to their in-class teacher do feel more comfortable to talk openly with their 1:1 online teacher. Why? Well, because it is a very small circle and the connection to the teacher could actually become deeper than with an in-class teacher who needs to oversee 30 students! Some of my shier students actually started thriving during distant learning because I could give them more of my undivided attention. Therefore, it was easier for them to address their needs and thoughts. They couldn't hide behind louder and more active students.

2. Feedback

Thirdly, an essential aspect of successful learning is feedback through the teacher. Now, when you think back to your school days or see the feedback your child is getting in school, you know that not all homework will be corrected and evaluated by the teacher. And that is absolutely ok. The in-class teacher can check during the day and give some verbal feedback.

However, when the student is struggling or would like to achieve even more than the average student, profound and extensive feedback can go a long way! Often teachers make a great effort to give a lengthy, comprehensible feedback and they spend much time with it. However, the student doesn't always understand the feedback and might be too shy to ask for clarification. Imagine the carefully composed essay would be evaluated and you could actually discuss the feedback with your teacher and understand it! That is not always feasible in a full classroom. Just imagine the possibilities.

In conclusion, online learning can be a big success for students as they can connect even more with their online teacher than with their in-class teacher. Because online classes are usually small or even 1:1, it is often easier to talk and students get more time with their teacher. In addition, the feedback from an online teacher is immediate and personal, and the students can actually discuss the feedback to understand it and improve!

3. Good internet connection

One of the most important prerequisites for successful online learning is a good internet connection. If your internet connection is weak, for example, you may experience interruptions and disturbances during your online class. Consequently, these disruptions may alter your and your teacher's ability to communicate and to react to each other's actions appropriately. So you need to make sure your internet is stable and running to achieve the best outcome for your online lesson.