Distance learning self assessments and resources are provided for determining if someone is suitable for distance learning education.
Distance learning, often referred to as distance education, provides flexibility to enroll in and complete continuing education programs at times convenient to the adult student. Distance learning requires good time management skills, self-determination, and computer technical skills. These three main requirements may not be suitable for every adult’s needs, expectations, and learning style.
If you are considering distance learning as the main method for completing a continuing education program or fulfilling partial program requirements, a review of the resources below will provide an idea of what to expect in distance learning. These resources, although not a guarantee of success or non-success will help determine the answer to the question – is distance learning right for you?
Distance Learning Style Self-Assessment
The following are important statements which should be completed prior to enrolling in a distance learning program or course (adapted from the Austin Community College distance learning Self-Assessment).
1. Usually complete homework and other assignments
- A. on time.
- B. at the last minute.
- C. past the deadline.
2. Considering taking a Distance Learning class
- A. because the flexibility fits my schedule.
- B. to add another course to a full load.
- C. because I can never seem to make it to my campus.
3. When it comes to studying, you
- A. are self-motivated.
- B. need motivation.
- C. wait until the last minute.
4. Face to face meetings with an instructor and classmates are
- A. not important.
- B. very helpful, however not essential.
- C. essential to my success.
5. As a learner, my classification is
- A. highly independent.
- B. somewhat independent.
- C. dependent.
This brief self-assessment will provide an idea if you are suited for distance learning. A score of 14 or better indicates you are suited for distance learning. A score of 6 or below indicates you are not suited for distance learning. Any score between 6–14 indicates serious consideration should be taken prior to enrolling in distance learning. (A = 4, B = 2, and C = 0)
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Computer Technical Skills Checklist for Distance Learning
If you can answer yes to most or all of these questions, then you should be technically proficient to enroll in and complete a distance learning program or course.
- Do you know how to create folders and navigate a directory to locate files?
- Can you save and retrieve files from storage devices such as a hard drive and external drives?
- Can you create, delete, modify, and save a word processing document?
- Can you cut and paste images in a word processing document?
- Can you change font size, page borders and styles, paragraph alignment, etc.?
- Do you know how to book mark your favorite sites on the Internet?
- Can you conduct an Internet using Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, or other online search directory?
- Can you download and install browser plug-ins for Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Real Player, etc.?
- Can you create an e-mail group list in an e-mail address book?
- Suitability for Continuing Education through Distance Learning
Distance learning or distance education is not for everyone. However after reviewing the self-assessment resources above to determine if distance learning is for you and the results indicate you are suitable for distance learning, review Online Education Learning Strategies for Adults for tips to succeed in distance learning.
Distance learning provides a convenient method for completing continuing education programs and courses for those who are self-motivated, have good time management skills, and are technically proficient. This method of learning provides those with work constraints and family commitments the perfect venue for completing desired continuing education requirements.