Dimensions and Strategies for Online Success: Voices from Experienced Educators

Lynne Schrum
Sunjoo Hong


Online learning has become a popular method of education. Faculty members may know little about how to assist students in succeeding in a new learning environment, and students may be ill-prepared to tackle the new demands put upon them. Therefore, this research seeks to identify dimensions of successful online learners by examining primary screening documents and then mapping them to the literature base. Next, experienced online educators are asked to review the dimensions and to provide strategies that they use to ensure student success. Seven dimensions are identified and confirmed as significant, each dimension with slightly different importance— including access to tools, technology experience, learning preferences, study habits and skills, goals or purposes, lifestyle factors, and personal traits and characteristics. In addition, several online teaching strategies (including students’ posting biographies, frequent interaction, collaboration, requiring participation, question-asking forums, topical flexibility, and minimizing technology requirements) have been recommended.


Learning effectiveness, Distance education, Course planning, Faculty perspectives


Used two different phases of research:
Phase One was designed to identify the characteristics or dimensions that appeared to play a significant role in the success and satisfaction of students in an online class. To begin, an examination was made
of over seventy institutions throughout the world that currently offer post-secondary online learning
opportunities. While many more organizations do offer online courses, only those that appeared to have
an educational focus, and other components that seem essential for post-secondary education (library facilities, student support personnel, etc.) were considered. The original group was narrowed again, so that only those that offered potential students a chance to investigate their own suitability for this
environment, through a substantive needs-assessment, (including advanced organizers, surveys, or other materials) were ultimately considered. This process resulted in a final group of over thirty such institutions. A document analysis was then completed on those instruments.
The information was aggregated and then presented to a sample of online educators. A purposeful sampling was used, which is based on the assumption that one wants to discover, understand, and gain insight, and “therefore one needs to select a sample from which one can learn the most "Web survey was presented
Seven dimensions were found to be critical factors that impact the success of adults: tools, technology experience, learning preferences, study habits and skills, goals and purposes, personal traits and characteristics and lifestyle factors.
Ends with a list of suggestions for online learning.

APA Citation

Schrum, L., & Hong, S. (2002). Dimensions and strategies for online success: Voices from experienced educators. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 6(1), 57-67.

About the Study

Links to Article https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=5%2C50&sciodt=0%2C50&cites=3571552882133810193&scipsc=&q=dimensions+and+strategies+for+online+success%3A+voices+from+experienced+educators&btnG=
Mode Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Course design
Level of Analysis Instructor-level
Specific Populations Examined Age groups, Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest Academic achievement or performance, including assessment scores and course grades
Student Sample Size
Citing Articles https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=5258302859233219711&as_sdt=5,50&sciodt=0,50&hl=en