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Traits of  Successful Distance Learners


Traits of Successful Distance Learners –

A Screening Tool



Research has indicated that for most students to be successful learning from a distance, they need to have behavioral evidence of five traits:


      I.Clear goal with tangible/immediate rewards or usage


Learners who have clear goals are working toward a certification or skill that they can use to improve their abilities to provide for themselves or their significant others. A specific goal would be a GED with the outcome of entering the armed forces or post secondary training. 


     II. Some success with learning in their past – especially if it is success in a nontraditional setting or



Success in learning in a student’s past could be the acquisition of typing skills; teaching themselves how to surf the web or send  and receive email. A minimum of a 7th grade reading level is recommended. Ideally learners would be able to read at a 9th grade level.


     III. Self- motivation and discipline.


Students that are or can be self – motivated are those that can establish a time and place to work on  assignments and follow through without needing directions or prodding.  They can establish and meet  deadlines.



Students with the ability to be assertive can ask for help and clarification when they are having difficulty.  Even if they cannot completely identify their knowledge or skill gap, they can contact their instructor to communicate their needs.


     V. Adaptability


Students that have a reasonable level of adaptability can identify problems and make adjustments to their schedule or environment in order to complete assignments. They can find alternative places where concentration may be attainable.


Check out the Pennsylvania Department of Education frequently asked questions webpage for more information here.


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