Is Distance Learning for You? Succeeding in a distance learning course requires a high degree of motivation, excellent time management and computer skills, as well as an independent learning style.
Basic Computer Skills
Here are some of the basic computer skills you should have before you enroll in an online course:
- Using a Web browser
- Using E-mail to send and receive messages and attachments
- Word processing
Distance Learning Self-Assessment
The following self-assessment will help you decide whether distance education is the right choice for you. Rate yourself on a 5 point scale for each question, 5 being the highest score possible and 0 the lowest score. Check your score below.
- I have strong reading and writing skills (in English).
- I feel comfortable expressing my ideas, comments, and questions in writing.
- I feel that I have the self-discipline needed to learn without face-to-face interaction with my instructor and fellow students.
- I have an interest in developing “virtual” partnerships with faculty members and fellow students at a distance.
- I am willing to dedicate the same amount of time and effort to a distance education course that I would to a classroom-based course.
- I have the necessary time-management skills that would enable me to balance distance education coursework with my professional and personal responsibilities.
- I am able to meet deadlines and keep track of my assignments when using the postal service or online file transmission.
- Convenience and flexibility are essential to me in the pursuit of my studies.
- I have or can obtain access to the necessary hardware and software.
- I feel comfortable using technology (Web browser, E-mail, word processor, etc.) to complete my coursework.
Score: A score of 35 and above indicates a high probability of success; a score of 20 – 35 indicates a need to develop special study skills in order to achieve success; and a score of 20 or below indicates you probably should consider the more traditional classroom setting rather than distance learning.
This adapted self-assessment quiz comes courtesy of the Extended Learning Institute, Northern Virginia Community College, ©1989.