Virtual School Meanderings

April 2, 2013

IT6230 – Student Age

itlogoAs I mentioned a few weeks ago in IT6230 – Internet In The Classroom, I will be using this blog as a way to provide discussion prompts for students in my IT6230 course (Internet in the Classroom).

This is actually a prompt that I found at the Penn Foster Blog in an entry entitled “Are Older Students Better at Learning Online?“.

Younger students tend to be more familiar with the technology used in online instruction, but that doesn’t mean they’re more successful in virtual courses.

In a recent Inside Higher Ed article (, online teacher Rob Weir argues that older students make better online learners:

“Younger students love the idea of online courses, but they are often the worst students — despite their greater facility with technology. Yahoo! runs ads for ‘Why online college is rocking,’ and that’s part of the problem. Online education is being sold as if it’s for everyone, when those finding real success are those who are self-motivated, highly organized, and in possession of well-developed study habits?…Younger students approach online classes as if they’re just another ‘cool’ thing to do on the Web. Be prepared to badger them if you want them to get through your course.”

Students with experience meeting deadlines are certainly at an advantage. But, I’d argue that most young students are beyond enrolling in a program because they think it’s ‘cool.’

Do you think age is a determinant in online learning success?

To view Jamie’s article on – click here (

You should post your response as an entry to your own blog by the end of the day on Friday, 05 April. In addition to the entry that you post on your own blog this week, make sure that you comment on at least THREE other students’ blogs by the end of the day on Monday, 08 April.

If you are not a student in my IT6230 course but would like to participate in this discussion, please leave a comment below. In case you are wondering, the readings for this week are:

Barbour, M. K. (2009). Today’s student and virtual schooling: The reality, the challenges, the promise… Journal of Distance Learning, 13(1), 5-25. Retrieved from

Roblyer, M. D. (2005). Who plays well in the virtual sandbox? Characteristics of successful online students and teachers. SIGTel Bulletin(2). Retrieved from


  1. IT6230 – Student Age…

    I do not believe that age is a determinant in online learning success. However, I do believe that maturity is. With maturity comes drive. The drive to want to learn and the drive to activly contribute to a learning environment. Personally, I have met c…

    Trackback by erajwsu IT 6230 — April 3, 2013 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

  2. Student Age…

    I was in agreement with Jamie’s opinion, but the one comment posted made me reconsider for a moment. The comment mentions that it’s not necessarily age but good study habits that make the difference. That statement gave me pause as I began to think why…

    Trackback by IT 6230 Adelstein Blog — April 4, 2013 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  3. Younger kids can be successful online…

    Definitely, age is a determinant factor in online learning. Especially when determining design and development and implementation of an online course. Younger students would definitely need more on-site support from coaches, parents and tech support to…

    Trackback by Harvest House — April 7, 2013 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  4. Student Age…

    To comment on Rob Weir’s statement, in his online article, Take a Walk on the Wired Side where he writes, “Younger students approach online classes as if they’re just another “cool” thing to do on the Web”…I believe that the younger online learner can …

    Trackback by KManigault — April 7, 2013 @ 7:00 pm | Reply

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