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Strickland’s Concept on Distance Learning Reviewed

August 29,2010 by: admin

A study was conducted about some good insights on the traits that create a successful distance learner.  Shawna Strickland, clinical assistant professor of the University Of Missouri Columbia School Of Health Professions made a study about the personality types and demographics of distance learners. Learning about the traits of distance learners is essential in helping academic staff to structure online courses in a beneficial way. The individual needs to be determined in studying through online courses even if the nature promotes a constant communication without seeing each other face-to-face. The success of the learning process depends on the student’s sense of independence and ability to respond to given instructions even without a real instructor’s supervision.

One of the characteristics that help in distance learning is focused on personality type. A material called, Understanding Successful Characteristics of Adult Learners, proved that silent-type, introvert individuals were found out to be comfortable in the method of online learning courses. Quiet individuals tend to be shy that is why they keep themselves uninvolved into a typical classroom scenario. By means of online courses, they are able to complete their work independently in anonymity.

Distance learning has a similar set-up with online learning courses because students with different cultural backgrounds interact less with activities pertaining social involvement such debates and forums and group work. Based on reports, US and UK Business Schools students are more vocal in terms of expressing themselves as compared to Asian students who are less willing to communicate. According to Strickland, the correlations between success in distance learning and learning styles have shown to be inadequate. Nevertheless, successful traits between distance learners and students under a traditional institutional setting are similar. This goes to show that distance learning is indeed a successful educational method for students who choose not to study in areal land-based college or university.  

Distance learning is dependent on the communication process among the student, instructor and peers. In order to obtain success in distance learning, the evaluation of individual’s needs is necessary and this has to be facilitated on a case-to-case basis. Distance learning allows the individual to overcome barriers on cultural and traditional background, location such as that of being remote, health issues and disabilities, family and domestic obligations and time constraints. Although distance learning is effective to some individuals, some learners may not be able to cope with this kind of environment. It is vital that the learner has to consider the methodology of teaching as employed thru a program system.

In a research conducted by Southampton University, on the difference between active and passive learners, it was found that, active learners tend to be more successful than passive learners because they are able to have a better degree of attention level and effective information retention. Thus, active learners are more into real four-wall classroom setting whereas passive learners are more into distance learning where interaction is not much of an instruction.

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