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Attributes succesful learner

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  • 1. Attributes of a Successful Learner About this class What’s distance learning? Your next steps
  • 2. How to Succeed at Distance Learning Next Steps This Project Management Certification program is a unique opportunity to learn, share your experience with peers, and gain knowledge. All of the materials you need for this class are found on the Blackboard site. You will find the class content is organized around the following components. Wiki Pages Discussion Groups VoiceThread Mind maps The How to Succeed at Distance Learning tab indicates how these elements will be used. When finished, review the next steps.
  • 3. By participating in this online course, you made a decision to join the ranks of a growing population of distance learners. Distance learning instruction is one of the fastest growing areas in education. In fact, according to a 2011 survey, 6.1 million learners were enrolled in a distance learning program. (Allen, I.E, & Seaman, J. 2011). Distance education is a method of education in which the learner is physically separated from the institution and the instructor. (Simonson et al, 2011). Online (or distance learning) offers an opportunity to pursue learning outside of a traditional “brick and mortar” environment. How to Succeed at Distance Learning
  • 4. Succeeding in a traditional classroom requires a certain set of learning characteristics. Succeeding in a distance learning classroom requires some of the same, and some very different skills. You may find that you already exhibit some of these attributes, and may need to work on others. The characteristics of successful distance learning are listed below: Highly Motivated Active Learner Fluency in Technology Organization/Time Management Skills Independent Learner
  • 5. Fluency in Technology Organization/Time Management Skills Independent Learner Highly motivated learners can also be described as self-directed leaners. A self-directed learner has an awareness of his/her own learning process (Olgren, 1998). Another way of thinking of self-direction can be described as high internal locus of control. If you have a high “internal” locus of control, you believe you are in control of your learning; an “external” locus of control means you expect external forces to be in control of your learning. In studies, students with an internal locus of control were more likely to succeed when faced with challenges in distance learning. (Simonson, M. et al, 2011). A distance learner will be more successful when he/she “gains power and control over their personal learning styles and the learning process” (Zapalska & Brozik, 2007, p. 12).
  • 6. Highly Motivated Active Learner Organization/Time Management Skills Fluency in Technology In a traditional classroom environment, the learner sits through lectures and waits for assignments from the instructor. In distance learning, the learner displays independence throughout the learning process. Self-discipline and self- pacing are important elements to successful distance learners (Johnson, 2007). Learners who display an interest in their own success by setting goals and being self-starters are more likely to complete a distance learning class.
  • 7. Highly Motivated Active Learner Organization/Time Management Skills Independent Learner Technology is certainly an important factor in successful online learning. Distance learners must have basic computer skills (ability to download files, send emails, conduct internet searches.) Being fluent in technology not only means understanding the basics of computer use, but being savvy about how technology can benefit you as a learner. You may need to broaden your research skills and embrace new technology tools – rather than relying on Google for best research sources. (Kolowich, 2010). In this course, you will use a variety of technologies to interact with your fellow students. Much of the class content will be delivered through course Wikis. You will have an opportunity to interact with your fellow students through the discussion boards, and you will post your comments regarding assignments on your blog.
  • 8. Highly Motivated Active Learner Fluency in Technology Independent Learner Organizational skills, including communication-related skills, are identified as core competencies for the distance learner (William, 2003). Course collaboration is an important element in distance learning models. Collaboration requires learners to use online learning technologies and communication skills to engage in discussions and group projects. Powell (2000) describes the online learner as “someone who is very comfortable with written communications, somewhat savvy with Web technologies, and proficient with computers.” Another organizational skill is time management. Unlike traditional “brick and mortar” educational institutions which consist of scheduled lectures and labs, distance learning requires the learner to be organized, especially in regards to time management. This requires leaners to schedule their own learning time and stick to the schedule.
  • 9. Developing the attributes of a successful distance learner will help you navigate this course. In addition, the following steps will help ensure your success in this course: • Review the course syllabus. • Review technology requirements. Check your technology for internet access, necessary software, browser access, etc. • Introduce yourself in the class discussion group. Create a brief paragraph describing your location, education and work experience, and why you are taking this course. • Review the course Wikis. • Review course outline and assignment due dates – schedule assignment dates in your calendar. • Provide your email address to the course instructor. • Ask questions! Contact the instructor with any questions or comments.
  • 10. Dabbagh, N. (2007). The online learner: Characteristics and pedagogical implications. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education[Online serial], 7(3). Retrieved from http://www.citejournal.org/vol7/iss3/general/article1.cfm Johnson, E. (2007). Promoting learner-learner interactions through ecological assessments of the online environment. Journal of Online Teaching, (3) 2. Retrieved May 27, 2012 from http://jolt.merlot.org/vol3no2/johnson.htm Kolowich, S. (2010). Technologically illiterate students. Inside Higher Education [Online serial], retrieved from http://www.indisdehighered.com. Simonson, M. , Smaldino, S. , Albright, M. & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education. (5thed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.