The Attributes of Successful Distance Learners
Distant learners have a responsibility to take ownership in their learning experiences and how to respond. “It is imperative that distant students learn to use tools available in the distant classroom” (Simonson,Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012, p.227). In a distant learning setting it is important to consider elements that can serve as pointer for achievements and success for a distant learner. Attributes of a successful distant learner may include but not limited to a leaner that is highly motivated, independent, active, possesses good organizational and time management skills, and has discipline to study without external reminders, and can adapt to new learning environments ( academic.son.wisc.edu, n.a.). Motivation, organizational skills, and time management skills are important skills when adapting toward a distant learning environment. There are influences, experience, and more that serves as factors of distant learning, but attributes help emphasize what the student/learner can produce to promote a successful distant learning outcome.
First, being a motivated student and being independent will help you students achieve your goal of completing a distance course successfully. Since students are not forced to attend classes, therefore we instructors are responsible for promoting motivation to ensure your attention is set on the applicable learning tools and information. Every student is responsible for their actions in any course, but since distant learning is not as formal it is up to you students and the instructor to make sure communication is frequent. Simonson,Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek (2012) states, “ Students of all ages come to the educational setting with some knowledge and skills in topics and areas related to the topic of study” (p. 226). Therefore whether or you have knowledge, motivation is still a key point to success. Students have to be motivated to attend online courses each day because they have to login the course to complete work, discussions, course work, and more without the supervision of their course instructor. Distance learners have to stay motivated and responsible at all times and not become affected by other distractions or responsibilities.
Additionally, organizational skills are very important in distant learning because learners have to distinguish when to login into the classroom and show evidence of communicating and completing course work and discussions. Students must have that organization to posses order and categorization of what needs to complete in the course. “A strong classroom management system helps all students develop positive classroom behavior, study habits, and organizational skills” ( Cash, n.d.). Students and instructors must use organizational skills to define clear completion times of course work and discussions because without organization a student will be astray and have no clue of what is to be expected in the course. The course site must have organization to provide clear evidence of when and how to submit discussions, course work, quizzes, and more. “You need strong organizational skills to keep you centered and on task at all times” (Fredrick, 2012). Teachers must encourage and establish clear expectation of the course/study skills, as well as, providing needed structure to assist students with becoming organized while students establish success in distance learning. To provide clarity and what to expect of the course, I am providing the course access information to accommodate you students to logon. CMS URL: http://www.ectolearning.com/Login.aspx?next=/Group.aspx?g=kiwpsilehu including Login: Cherell 2012 and Password: Ecto2012 or Join Code: Walden 2012 to access course information. The information provided should accommodate you students to easily access the course site to review information and course expectations. Students remember to save this information for future preference.
Furthermore, time management is one of the most important attributes of any distant learning course, traditional course, job position, or etc. because time is precious. In any profession any person must be responsible enough to manage their time to get any task completed than the day or a in a specific time frame. Managing time in distant learning is imperative because everything is done at the learner’s preference. Learners must use their time wisely and be responsible enough to not depend on reminders about course work, applications, projects, and discussions because instructors do not have to provide any extra reminders. The syllabus states all the information that is needed throughout the course. Gatlin (2012) states “Successful online students have to be very proactive in their studies and take responsibility for their own learning”. All applications and coursework should be completed within the time limit that is given unless there is an emergency that will be accepted by the instructor. Students should set goals to have course work completed and utilize time and not procrastinate to keep track of all information and tasks required for completion. In order to remain successful in distance learning, students must manage time and remain accountable for their coursework.
There are several attributes of a distant learner, but focusing on motivation, organizational skills, and time management can categorize several characteristics. Students, acknowledging those attributes can provide confidence while achieving to conquer an online course and becoming successful in a distance learner course. “Online courses are an excellent way for busy professionals to gain advanced training and certifications or switch career paths” (Gatlin, 2012). Distance learners must always obtain positive attributes to achieve success in e-learning and stay committed no matter what. To assist you students, I am providing a site to test your readiness or abilities on distant learning: Dantes (n.d.) Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, URL: http://www.dantescatalogs.com/DlDemo/dlDemoIntro.aspx. This site will provide you with a conclusion of your skill set level for distant learning. Students take this information into consideration to help you achieve and become confident in the distance learning environment.
Academic.son.wisc.edu.(n.d.). Retrieved from http://academic.son.wisc.edu/wistrec/archive/OnlineLearning/Characteristics.htm
Cash, A. (n.a.). Organizational Skills: Recommendations for Teachers of Students with Organizational Problems. Practical Recommendations and Interventions: Organizational Skills.p. 1.Retrieved from www.udel.edu/education/masters/.../OrganizationalSkills.doc
Dantes.(n.d). Dantes Distance Learning Readiness Self-Assessment. Retrieved from http://www.dantescatalogs.com/DlDemo/dlDemoIntro.aspx
Fredrick,H.(2012).Organizational Skills for the Classroom. eHow Contributor. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/info_8172184_organizational-skills-classroom.html
Gatlin,S.( 2012). How to Succeed as an Online Student. Retrieved from http://distancelearn.about.com/od/distancelearning101/a/studentsuccess.htm
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson
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