Distance Learning Success
How to Succeed in Distance Learning Courses
Characteristics of Successful Online LearnersPeople learn in different ways. Understanding your own learning style will help you be successful in this online course.
Successful online students have the following personality traits:
- Responsibility: Following through with duties
- Initiative: Starting thoughts and actions
- Perseverance: Being persistent in pursuit of tasks
- Industrious: Getting your work done; not procrastinating
- Self-Reliance: Having trust in yourself and feeling confident
- Works with Others: Working as a team toward common goal
- Time Management
- Strong Reading
- Good Writing
- Test Preparation
What Do I Need To Succeed in a Distance Learning Course?
Each CCC&TI Distance Learning course provides you with dozens of resources to help you succeed, including connections to discussion groups, libraries, writing guides, and a student manual for using all of the courses resources. To succeed in a distance learning course, you also need the following equipment and skills:
- Internet Access: You must either own or have frequent access to a computer connected to the Internet. You should have access to this computer at least 3 hours per week for online discussion groups, for doing online research, for sending and responding to email messages, and for writing papers and submitting them via the Internet. You will, of course, need to spend more time than this reading textbook assignments, viewing videotapes (if required), and participating in other types of learning experiences. If you connect to the Internet with a modem, 56K is the minimum modem connection.
- Computer Knowledge: You must also know how to use your computer to save files, access those files on your computer, copy files, use word processing, cut and paste text, copy text, and send and receive email. Since Microsoft Word is the program your teachers will be using, your course will provide you with detailed guides to using Microsoft Word.
- Email: You will need to utilize your student email account to send messages to your instructor and classmates. To access your student email, login to the MyCCCTI student portal.
- Up-to-date Browser: Current browser recommendations: Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer 8.
- Writing Skills: Aside from the technical requirements, you must be able to read and write effectively. Using the Internet is a point and click experience, but the Internet and Internet courses are reading intensive experiences. You must also be a self-motivated person who can maintain a schedule. CCC&TI Distance Learning courses are not correspondence courses that you will complete in the far-distant future completely at your leisure. CCC&TI Distance Learning requires weekly activities just as in any course, although you can complete these activities any hour of the day or night during that weekly period.
- Self-Evaluation: Take the Distance Learning Pre-test to determine if you are ready to take a distance learning course.
Five Crucial Tips for Success
- Schedule your own "class time". Be sure that you have time to take a distance learning course. While these courses are convenient, they do require time and the ability and willingness to study independently. You should schedule time several hours each week to work on your distance course and adhere to that schedule just like you would attend an on-campus class. If you are taking an online course, plan to spend considerable time online. You will need to log into the course web site several times each week to keep current with assignments and announcements. You will also need to check your e-mail or the Blackboard message feature frequently for communications from your instructor or from other class members. Keep up with the assignment schedule, submitting all assignments promptly.
- Limit the number of distance classes you take. Because of the time and effort you will put into each distance learning class, you should limit the number of classes taken in this manner. If you have never taken a distance class before, do not take more than one class at a distance. This way, you can decide if distance learning is for you before signing up for other distance classes. Even if you are an experienced distance learner, it would be wise to take only two or three DL classes at the most. Many students find that distance classes require more time than their on-campus classes, so take this into consideration as well.
- Distance learning courses have many different materials. Remember you are not just watching or listening. You are learning from those various materials. Take notes. Imagine questions that might be on a test from your study guide, from your textbook, from video or audio files.
- Set deadlines for yourself. Set deadlines for yourself by keeping a calendar showing the number of weeks in the semester and mark it off with the amount of work you need to do each week. Mark in the days when you will expect submit assignments and take tests.
- Keep in touch with your instructor. Keep in touch with your instructor. Do not hesitate to phone or send e-mail anytime you have questions or problems. If you've e-mailed and gotten no response, don't assume that your instructor is ignoring you. E-mail is not always reliable. In cases like these, just pick up the phone and call your instructor.