One common misconception about online learning is that it is easier. Online learning is not easier or harder than traditional classes, it depends on the student's ability to focus, be self-directed, and complete the required work. Online classes are not condensed versions of classes either, they cover the same standards as the traditional classroom and will require similar time for completion.
Online education is an alternative for those students who for a variety of reasons are looking for a more flexible learning environment. It is not, however, an alternative to the courses and curriculum. The standards and expectations for achievement do not change. Student's in the Valley Online Learning center must complete the same graduation requirements and courses as their peers at Valley High School.
In general, students who are successful in online learning are those students who:
Are working full-time to help support a family.
Are teen parents.
Are unable to attend a brick and mortar school for a variety of health reasons.
Are struggling in the traditional setting and need a different approach.
Are motivated to finish high school but need flexibility in scheduling.
Are in need of acceleration and access to concurrent enrollment.
| || Successful Online Students|| Struggling Online Students|
| Attendance|| Students that regularly attend school and class perform better than their peers. ||Students that were non-attenders in traditional classes tend to be non-attenders in online classes. |
|Self-Discipline ||Students must be self-starters, self-directed, and disciplined. Successful students are able to work independently and schedule their time effectively. || Students who cannot set schedules for themselves and have the self-discipline to work on their own will be unable to complete courses in the online setting. Students who are easily distracted and unable to sit still will not meet the demands of the online environment.|
| Reading & Writing||Students must be able to read and write well because of the amount of time spent at a computer receiving instruction. Students must be able to read instructions. ||Students that are traditionally non-readers or do not take the time to read or write can struggle in an online environment. |
||Successful online learners are able to communicate their needs and wants and have strong self-advocacy skills. Students cannot be afraid to ask for help face-to-face and via email or texting||Students who do NOT advocate for themselves or take the initiative to ask for help will be unsuccessful in the online setting. |
| Communication||Successful students comforably communicate through multiple modes (email, text messages, phone calls, face-to-face conferences)||Students who are unwilling to open and respond to email, respond to text messages or answer the phone will not be successful in the online setting |
| Computer/Internet|| Successful students have access to a computer and reliable internet, and know what to do if something happens to either. ||Students who do not have a computer and internet access and/or who are not willing to come onsite on a daily basis will not be successful. |