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Are you ready for Distance Education?

Find Out if You Have the Four Qualities of Successful Distance Learners

Before you enroll to take classes online, check to make sure distance learning is really right for you. Taking a class online can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. But, distance education is not for everyone. While some people thrive on the independence and freedom offered through such classes, others find themselves regretting their decision and wishing they had enrolled in a traditional class instead. Successful and happy distance learners have a few characteristics in common. Compare yourself to the following list to determine whether or not online classes are a good fit for your personality and habits.

1. Successful distance learners do just as well, if not better, without people looking over their shoulders. While some people need teachers to keep them motivated and on-task, distance learners are able to motivate themselves. They realize that they will never be face-to-face with the people who give them assignments and grade their work, but they don’t need others to encourage them. The most successful students are self-motivated and set their own goals.

2. Successful distance learners never (or at least rarely) procrastinate. You’ll rarely find them putting off assignments or waiting until the last moment to write their papers. These students enjoy the freedom of working at their own pace and appreciate the ability to complete their work in as much time as it takes them, instead of waiting for an entire class. However, they understand that putting off their work too often can end up adding months, if not years, to their studies.

3. Successful distance learners have good reading comprehension skills. While most people learn by listening to lectures and taking notes, the majority of distance learners are expected to master material through reading alone. Although some distance learning courses offer video recordings and audio clips, most programs require that students understand a large amount of information that is only available through written text. These students are able to comprehend texts at the college level without the direct guidance of a teacher.

4. Successful distance learners can resist constant distractions. Whether it’s the phone ringing off the hook, the kids screaming in the kitchen, or the allure of the TV, everyone faces distractions. Successful students know how to filter out the constant disturbances that threaten their progress. They feel comfortable turning down an invitation or letting the machine pick up the phone when they know there is work to be done.

If you have few of the qualities of these successful students, you may want to reconsider taking an online class. Remember that online learning is not for everyone and, while it is an excellent choice for some, others will always struggle with learning independently. But, if, after comparing your personality and habits to those of successful distance education students, you’ve discovered that you have a lot in common, online classes may be the perfect option for you.