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Is Distance Learning for Me?

If you are wondering whether distance learning is a good option for you, take the following self-evaluation and read the interpretation that follows.

Independent Learner Self-Evaluation

Check the response that best describes you as a learner (both in and out of school):

1. In general, face-to-face interaction is 
a. not particularly important to me.
b. somewhat important to me.
c. very important to me.

2. In my previous school experiences, classroom discussion and interaction have been 
a. rarely helpful for me.
b. sometimes helpful for me.
c. almost always helpful for me.

3. When I am trying to learn something new, I prefer 
a. to figure it out myself.
b. to work alone at first, asking for help as necessary.
c. to have someone explain it to me.

4. In general, meeting deadlines and budgeting my time is 
a. easy for me.
b. sometimes difficult if the project or assignment isn’t interesting to me.
c. difficult for me - I often need outside pressure to complete work.

5. My reading skills are 
a. good - I enjoy reading and I learn well by reading.
b. average - I enjoy reading, but my comprehension isn’t as good as I
would like it to be.
c. poor - I generally avoid reading and prefer to learn another way.

6. My attitude toward television/videos as a source of learning is: 
a. very favorable - I have learned a great deal from education-oriented television programs.
b. uncertain - I have watched a few educational programs, but I usually think of television as entertainment.
c. negative - television is mindless entertainment.

7. When I am asked to learn new technologies, I: 
a. look forward to learning new skills.
b. am apprehensive, but I generally learn them successfully.
c. put it off or avoid it entirely.

8. Considering my personal and work schedule, the time I have to work on a distance course is: 
a. more than for a campus course.
b. about the same as for a campus course.
c. less than for a campus course.

9. Taking responsibility for staying in contact with my 
instructor would be
: 
a. easy for me.
b. uncomfortable at first, but I would get used to it.
c. difficult - Taking the initiative would be very stressful for me.

10. Coming to campus occasionally for tests or meetings is: 
a. easy as long as I know the dates and times in advance.
b. a problem, but I can do it if the instructor is flexible about times.
c. almost impossible for me.

As you have probably realized, if you answered:

Mostly "a," you like to learn independently, and distance courses should be very effective for you.

Mostly "b" responses suggest that you may have to make some adjustments in  your study habits, but you should do well - remember that distance classes  provide plenty of opportunity to interact with your instructor.

Mostly "c" responses indicate that distance learning may not be the best way to  further your education because you need consistent interaction to be successful in college course work. However, if distance classes are your only option now, don’t despair - just be aware that you may have to consciously adjust your work habits  to be successful.

Remember that online and distance learning is not easy. Your professor will  demand at least the same quality of work as they would receive from you in a face-to-face classroom. A similar number of hours will need to be committed  throughout the course of a term for a distance course as to a face-to-face course. Remember that your course may include deadlines and instructions on assignments,  but there will not be anyone telling you to "turn in your assignment."

Distance learning is convenient- you do not have to commute to campus, and you can attend class at your convenience- either early in the morning, late at night, or anytime in-between. Just remember, no matter when you decide to study, your professor will hold you accountable.

Independent Learner Self Evaluation created by Julie Witherow, Director of Distance Learning, Pikes Peak Community College Julie.Witherow@ppcc.cccoes.edu
Used with permission.

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