Online Education: 4 Reasons Why Online Learners Quit

Though most of the misunderstandings about online education have already been cleared up, there is still one prevailing challenge in the industry. We’re talking about online learners quitting only after a few months of study, a phenomenon that is still continuing as of today. Why do online learners quit, and what could we do about it? Let’s discuss each in turn.

Reason Online Learners Quit #1: False expectations

It is a common misconception that online learning by itself is easy. It is, actually – it makes studying more convenient for busy people and it allows the completion of a degree right in one’s own home. But a more accurate description is that online learning has a different set of pros and cons as compared to traditional classroom learning.

For example, though it allows a more flexible approach to learning, the time needed for study is almost always the same. This means that although you can shift your study schedule to something more convenient you still need to devote a similar amount of hours for studying. Online learners who quit early are those who assume the opposite; they expect that study times are lesser.

Other false expectations about online education include the actual difficulty of the content. Again, it’s more accurate to say that online education operates against a different set of rules. The content in an online course is almost always self-paced, requiring the online learner to make the most of online education in various ways. Quitters usually stop when the going gets tough – and that’s something that we won’t want you to be doing right?

Reason Online Learners Quit #2: Insufficient planning

Online learning requires a lot of planning. Though schedules are flexible, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to commit to one. In fact, to be a good online learner, you must maintain a consistent study schedule throughout the week. Cramming is not allowed and the importance of consistent study cannot be over-emphasized. You also need to manage the time you spend for other activities, for studying is not the only thing that you will do; there’s social life, and your family to think of. Given this, those who quit online learning often cannot juggle their time, and are often swamped by work even with all the convenience given.

Reason Online Learners Quit #3: No support group

Similar to what we already discussed before, communities help the online learner. Given that the journey of a distance education student is often a solitary one because it’s self-paced, the need for a support group becomes all the more important. Online social network sites provide a venue for people to connect and to deepen their relationships with other people and it is this characteristic that online learners should capitalize on. At the very least, they’ll have someone to ask so that they could be updated about the course. Students who quit online study usually didn’t cultivate their relationships online and may, due to problems in scheduling, have problems that make even their immediate relationships challenging.

Reason Online Learners Quit #4: Waning commitment

Commitment is a very hard thing to understand because there are so many options available as to its explanation. We only have the simple observation that how committed a person is can be gleaned by how much he values something – high value means high commitment. But sometimes, given the nature of online education, people wane in their commitment and only see it as something that they could just take any time. That may be true, but the effort that they have placed on it and the resources that they have already spent would be wasted if they just decide to quit just because they are not motivated. It happens though, making it one of the top reasons why online learners quit.

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