Is online learning like having a successful relationship?


Learning online is not just about hitting the books and submitting your assignments on time.

You need some important personal qualities to get the most out of the experience. And some of those qualities are uncannily like the skills you need for running a successful relationship. 

So if you have a history of healthy relationships, the news is good! You already have some skills you can use right now for learning online.

3 ways online learning is like having a relationship

1. Online learning demands good communication skills

So does a healthy relationship!

We’ve all been in relationships where long days of icy silence mean that communication has totally broken down. The only way of bridging the divide is to start talking. You soon learn that better communication is needed – and quickly!

Good communication skills are also vital in an online learning environment. These skills make it easier to establish productive working relationships with your tutor and fellow students. You need to know how to ask for help, and explain your problems clearly.

In both situations, communication skills are vital.

2. Online learning involves patience

When you learn online, it usually takes a little while to receive responses from other students, and feedback from your tutor. It can be frustrating to wait for a return email, and to hear what your tutor thinks of the essay you sweated over. But that’s how it works – patience is the only option here.

The same skill often comes up in relationships. You can spend a lot of time waiting around (or nagging) your partner to get moving on what’s important to you:

•  Did you pick up the dry cleaning yet?
•  How much longer can it take for you to get ready? The movie starts in 20 minutes!
•  If you don’t pay the electricity bill by Friday, we’ll be living in the dark.

Some of this stuff you can control. Some you can’t. But generally, being patient means less stress for everyone (unless the electricity gets cut off, of course…)

3. Online learning is easier to stick with if you love it!

OK, so you may not love posting on discussion boards, or writing an assignment. But if there’s something about it you can love, it’s a lot easier to go the distance.

Find something to love about your online course: the topic, the flexibility, the chance to further your qualifications…

Of course, the same idea applies in a relationship! It’s easier to get through the rougher times if you’re with a human being you truly love. It’s easier to move forward if the relationship is of real value to you.

So what do you think? Can you see some links between successful relationships and e-learning?

What connections can you see – post your comments below!

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Posted: Wednesday 13 February 2013


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