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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What Characteristics Are Needed?

Okay, this is an entry that I have been meaning to post for some time... What are the characteristics of a successful virtual school learner?

A quick look around the blogsphere indicates that Allied Online High School Blog believe that Time Management: The Key to Success, as does Teaching and Developing Online (see Time Management: The Key to Success). AHA Focus: Charter Schools see Independence and dependence-OHEC-April 2005 as important characteristics.

E-Learning Perspectives and Instructional Design Open Studio even speculates that learning styles may play a role, see So Many Learning Styles! and Are Learning Styles Simply A Myth? - If not, are they really that important? respectively.

The most recent time that I have discussed the issue of learning styles was on my AECT Blog Track - Virtual Schooling, when I posted the entry Learning Styles, Student Performance and Web-based Design. Before then the topic made an appearance here when I posted the entry, Supporting Different Learning Styles Through Virtual Schooling, but I haven't said a lot about it recently.

But that's not important now, what is important now is what you think... So, what are the characteristics of a successful virtual school learner?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I'm not the poster of that entry on AHA, I can tell you that it is not advocating for virtual schools or even for what characteristics make a good independent learner. It is about not allowing homeschooling freedoms to be lost in the midst of the many public school at home programs.

I'm curious if the title of the blog caused you to think that it was a blog which is supportive of cyber charter schools rather than a blog about protecting homeschooling freedoms?
Thanks for allowing me to clarify.

12:24 PM  
Blogger MKB said...


This entry is not designed to specifically be about public, virtual, home, or charter schools.

While not strictly about learner characteristics, the items talks about the relationship between independence and dependence in virtual/cyber schooling. What I'm interested in generating here is a list of specifically learner characteristics (as opposed to virtual/cyber school characteristics - which is what the AHA item is about).

So maybe I gave the wrong impression in using that entry as an example, but I thought it was close enough.


12:48 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

I posted this paper at the AHA blog. It was written in response to the growing challenge facing Ohio homeschoolers to maintain their autonomy and independence while some of the new public virtual schools falsely claim to be "homeschooling".

It does not support cyber charter schools. This is evident in some of the first paragraphs, let alone the entire fact sheet..

You can read the entire fact sheet here:


3:05 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

Again, I am not claiming that you or the AHA are endorsing or even saying that these cyber schools are a good thing. Your entry poited out that two of the charateristics of these virtual schools are independence and dependence, and depending on who was being quoted one was a more positive feature than the other.

I intended to use that, along with the other entries that I cited, as a jumping off point to ask the question what charateristics are desirable in individual students for them to be successful in ths online environment?


3:37 PM  
Blogger Kate Logan said...

To get back to your original question about student characteristics I have the following to add:

1. students have to take ownership of their education, they have to change their mindset from being a semi-anonymous empty shell to be filled up by teachers to a whole mind with so much to contribute while learning new things.

2. Once students take ownership of their learning, all sorts of other things fall into place like: motivation, desire, problem solving, etc...

3. Students have to be able to read and write at a middle school level when they begin their high school courses.

11:41 AM  
Blogger MKB said...


Your first point is interesting, as I am currently reading the book A Classroom of One and I just hit a chapter on motivation and in the very first paragraph the author makes the point that students who may not be motivated in the traditional classroom, may find that by being able to take ownership of their learning they become more motivated in an online environment.

It was followig a point he made about slf-motivated students being the logical type of student you'd expect to do well in a classroom of one, but also there were other students who were less than successful in the classroom that may do okay in that classroom of one and the ownership issue was one of the reasons he suggested as to why.


11:02 PM  

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