The Personality Characteristics of a Distance Learner

Published: 21st May 2007
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Who will be a good distance learner lies mainly in the degree of personal maturity and the characteristics of each individual. The focus of this type of education is heavily based on the individuals own input. Before enrolling in a distance learning program or online distance learning courses, it is important for you to know whether you are up for the challenge and whether your personality fits the requirements of online education. You should evaluate your readiness for the task ahead if you think you'd like to take distance learning courses. The characteristics of the ideal distance learner include the following:

Self confidence: You have to be assured that you can work on your own. Distance learning programs are all about independent study and there is no student network or class organization for you to fall back on. Be aware of whether you have the will to stick with distance learning courses and the determination to research answers, as professors aren't there for one-on-one help. A distance learner needs maturity of character along with a high level of self-confidence. Having self-confidence will propel the success of a distance learner, as the student won't be deterred from achieving course completion.

Organization: Taking distance learning courses involves one very important element for the prospective distance learner. Scheduling and organizational skills are imperative to success. Without clear goals of when to study and where to study, a distance learner may find themselves scrambling to meet assignment deadlines or hand in homework. Since distance learning programs are all about independent study, it is up to the student to schedule personal "class time" and ensure there are no distractions. The distance learner must also stick to this schedule and avoid putting studying off.

Ability to work independently: This is essential for a distance learner, as most of the tasks that you will be performing during your distance learning courses will be done completely on your own. You will get some guidance from the tutor as to where you need to focus your research, but the rest of the research and work is indeed up to you. You might also not have the luxury of group study where ideas are easily shared; therefore, you are the sole owner of your time and your success. You must be able to be focused with little or no input from others. A distance learner who enjoys discussing ideas, or who often needs many examples to fully understand complex ideas, may not enjoy distance learning programs at all.

Patience: Distance learners must have the patience to obtain their online learning degree, especially those who are studying part time or who only take a few distance learning courses a year. Students can take a full course load and achieve a degree from distance learning programs in the same time as students that attend class on site at college campuses. However, when we do not focus our lives solely around learning, it becomes easy to set aside a few distance learning courses to pursue other goals at the same time. Having the patience to work at obtaining a distance learning degree, even if it takes more years than planned, is important. Many distance learners discard pursuing their education when "real life" slows them down. Having patience and sticking with at least one distance learning course a year will get students one step closer to their ultimate goal of receiving a degree.

It is clear that there are many benefits of getting education through distance learning courses. Potential employers are able to cherish the abilities of self-starters that have taken courses from a distance learning school. Best of all, the qualities of a distance learner are easy to translate very well into modern working environments, making distance learners excellent assets to companies and businesses.

Learn more about distance learning and distance education plus download a free "Distance Learning" ebook at

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