12 Reasons You Might be Failing Online College You may have heard the old adage “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” But when it comes to online learning, you can experience an epic failure in a dozen different ways. To paraphrase famed comedian Jeff Foxworth, you might be an online learning failure if… 1. Your computer is an Atari (or any old-school computer) Your first PC was an Atari 800XL – and you still have it. You last powered it up probably 15 years ago (when you were 12), but you still have the 800XL, 5.25″ floppy drive, cassette drive, and 9-pin dot matrix printer. 2. You take a “Field of Dreams” approach to an online degree You believe that if you just fire up the computer, it will magically come. “Initiative” is NOT your middle name, and you think the Online Fairy will somehow swoop into your room at night and place a college degree under your pillow—just as long as you leave the computer running and connected to the Internet. 3. Your favorite pastime is driving to distraction You sit down and intend to log in to the online university. But just as you are typing your password, out of the corner of your eye you see something move in the lower right corner of your screen. What’s that?! Oh, an email from your BFF! Well, OMG, you just have to respond! And as long as you’re responding to email, you may as well get up to date on a few blogs that you follow–and send a few text messages to spread the news your BFF just told you. But you’ll get to that after you play with your puppy. Poor thing feels ignored when you’re online. 4. You’re just not that into school Your last memories of school aren’t pleasant. You think the instructor will be like Sister Mary in 8th grade whose ruler often found itself falling on your knuckles. You secretly worry that, somehow, someway this newfangled online technology allows the instructor to reach through your computer screen and smack you on the knuckles. (She can’t. I promise.) Besides, you just can’t find the motivation to go online and listen to what you fear will be some boring instructor. 5. You have minimal interaction with instructors and classmates You are the class lurker—the one who secretly slips into class, then dashes out immediately afterward without so much as a smiley icon. The only time you speak or write is when the instructor asks you a direct question. Otherwise, no one knows you’re there. 6. Online schools takes place on your couch – you avoid desks and office chairs Face it: You’re beyond coach potato. You’re a couch slouch. You lie on the couch, rest your laptop on your stomach, place a pillow under your head, and type your assignments in that position. But, gosh darn it, you somehow always fall asleep before you complete your project. 7. Fit school around video games Schedule, schmedule. You don’t need a set time to sit down and do your coursework if your classes are online. That’s the beauty of online learning, right? Speaking of video games… 8. You think online education is really a role playing game Hey, you’ve played World of Warcraft and you know how these online games work! Your goal is to outsmart and/or virtually eliminate the other players, like your instructor and fellow classmates. So, you scheme how to “game” the online university so you can get a degree—all without doing a lick of work. You have a grand time deceiving classmates and the instructor, and smugly pat yourself on the back for your clever deceptions. 9. You worry more about your Klout score than your latest test score You can’t possibly spend much time in an online classroom because you need to make the best use of your online time by posting on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Flickr, YouTube, and LinkedIn to increase your Klout score. After all, if you have a high Klout score, you have influence. And what could be more important than that?! 10. The devil made you do it. Or your friends. Or your dog This is the classic “blame game.” You didn’t get your homework assignment done because someone or something got in your way. Hey, it’s not your fault that there was a snafu just as you were getting a last-minute start on your assignment. 11. You’re too (hot, tired, depressed, hung-over) Excuses are your forte and you have a bag full of them. And when all else fails, you simply sing to yourself, “I’m… too sexy for this …course…” 12. Your internet connection is….dial-up You love the beep-beep-beep-beep-beep dialing and subsequent scratchy screeching sound of a dial-up connection. It’s music to your ears, and you just can’t bring yourself to part with it. Who needs DSL, cable, or satellite internet anyway? And those, my cyber friends, are 12 ways to fail in an online school.