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Becoming a successful online master’s student

How to become a successful online master�s student? And discussing how you can work together to
overcome obstacles? Sharing your thoughts about the value of participating in a global, online learning

community and how you might go about this?

Becoming a successful online master’s student in this digital era is quite easy. The
thought of enrolling for online studies is no longer challenging as numerous schools have come
up to offer exceptional and world class education for online master’s students. Like other
graduate students, it is assumed that the only way to acquire professional education and establish
learning relationships is through the traditional class setup. While this assumption is not wrong,
it appears that the number of universities who are willing to provide professional graduate
education that suites graduate learner’s needs and time schedule are very few. As a result, many
graduate students are opting for online studies to develop competent professional skills. The
advantages of online studies are numerous including flexible study hours, communication, faster
learning and multitasking study with other activities.
For online master’s students to become successful, it is imperative to identify a suitable
course and legitimate college or university that offers the courses they want to pursue. Protocols
like fee payment and handing over certificates are required to ascertain student qualifications. It
is part of online orientation before getting socialized to the online school. Once those procedures
are done, your social presence can be felt in the online university. The social presence of the
faculty and students is very crucial for effective online learning to take place asserts (Maddix
2013: 139).
To succeed, online students have to overcome many obstacles. To start with, they should
set aside a quiet room, get connected with a desktop or laptop with electricity, in preparation for
online studies. Selecting the suitable hours is another challenge that students have to overcome.
Minimal interference and high concentration are required for successful online learning to take
place. Computer knowledge is necessary, since online students will be expected to log in and out
often. Virtues that will promote successful online matures students include self-discipline,
persistence, flexibility, optimism, motivation and strong work ethics will greatly contribute to
succeeding as an online master’s student. For online master’s students to succeed, they need to
possess a high level of personal discipline. Unlike other graduate students, online students have
to train themselves to attend lectures on time as lecturers are not anywhere in sight. Discipline is
the organization, keeping time, completing assignments and forwarding them on time.
Persistence is the ability to start and complete the online program without calling off classes at
times. It involves following up sessions where students complete their thesis on time and
assignments. Flexible online students can succeed as they work with their lecturer to come up
with an agreement that suits both schedules. With flexibility, master’s students can study and still
do other duties. Optimistic students have high expectations and this is part of online student’s
expectations. With motivation, online students can study alone and still pass exams. Strong work
ethics facilitates success in many ways. It is seen through hard work despite the long consuming
hours of online study and through commitment to finish all assignments and attend lecture
sessions without fail.

Online students overcome many obstacles through working together as a global online
community. Global online communities are a part of the changing landscape of education. They
come at a time when higher education is open to development of community learning as an
effective and convenient way of accessing knowledge. Global online communities have many
benefits for online students and lecturers. According to Shea and Pickett (2006: 155), they create
a sense of purpose through fostering elements that help students achieve what is not achievable
when on their own. Global online communities create social networking and opportunities for
engagement and dialogue. While many traditional classes are expected to observe silence and
only ask questions when necessary, online learners are free to interact and communicate with
each other. In fact, lack of physical presence increases the need for communication thus
establishing stronger relationships amongst different learners from all over the globe.
According to Maddix (2013:140) the effectiveness of online learning benefits students
greatly as through such interactions students, develop significant relationships with the
university, students, and peers. With the main aim of online courses being creation of
communities that are learned, online education offers the globe an opportunity to create leaders
and professionals in a fast and less timely manner. While many students in normal classrooms sit
in rows or at the back listening to lectures, global online communities receive the first active
online interaction and dialogue with their lecturers. This experience creates lifetime moments
and sharing. With this experience, online learners are directed to achieve communal goals and
Global online learning opens room for culture exchange and interaction across borders.
Since global online learning is accessible for all students, it does not limit learners from any
culture. Equal learning opportunities are given to all learners while exchange of cultures prevails.
Global online communities created do not deal with issues of discrimination or prejudice but
rather work to achieve similar goals through learning.


education journal, 101, pp.139-148.Education research complete, EBSCOHOST, viewed
4 Dec 2014
Shea, P Sau, LC & Pickett, A 2006, ‘A study of teaching presence and student sense of learning
community in fully online and web-enhanced college courses,’ Internet and higher
education 9(3), pp.175-190

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