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Is Distance Education For Me?

Only you can answer that question. The truth is that on-line education is not for all. It is obvious that distance learning requires students to be self-motivated and self-disciplined so as to keep on task without monitoring from others. Experience and educational research show that the single biggest factor in determining a student's success is the student's motivation to succeed.

There will be barriers to your success. Here is a small list of barriers that you may encounter:

  1. Technology that does not work
  2. Your inexperience with computers
  3. Family and professional distractions that compete for your time and attention
  4. Feelings of isolation from other students and the instructor
  5. Frustration with new software/hardware you were not anticipating
  6. If you understand these limitations going into a distance education course, perhaps you have a more realistic set of expectations.

The reason for taking a distance education course should be a valid one. Valid reasons include:

  1. Ability to set your own study schedule
  2. Opportunity to use familiar technology to learn new subjects
  3. Freedom to time shift your own schedule to better meet family and professional obligations while continuing your education
  4. Motivation and self-discipline to keep yourself on task
  5. Save travel time
  6. Take a class from a different location
  7. Accommodate scheduling conflicts

Students are warned not to take distance education courses for all the wrong reasons. Invalid reasons include:

  1. Thinking the class will be easier - it will not be!
  2. Overloading your class schedule with an additional course
  3. Avoid attending class
  4. Avoid writing and reading assignments
  5. Cheating on exams