Tips from Students: Skills Needed for Distance Learning


Read tips from students on how to be succeed in distance learning classes. Comments were collected by an instructor of a VCT member college at the conclusion of a course.

"The first and foremost skill needed is discipline. In an internet class there is no one there to make sure you do what you need to do. In fact, if you never log on you won't even know what's going on. It takes a lot of discipline to sit down, log on, review the work needed and then get it turned in by the deadline. It is not a blow off class by any means.

I think you also need some basic computer skills to do well in the class. If someone is not that immersed in computer usage, they'll be less likely to be actively involved in the class and its assignments. I think it will become a sort of discouragement and frustration."

student in library

"In order to be successful while taking an internet course one must be highly disciplined and able to stay on task. It is also helpful to be a self starter not one who tends to put things off."

"In my opinion, a fairly reasonable [reading] comprehension level and writing skills are extremely helpful, as well as, an ability to express one's opinions and respond to the ideas of other classmates."

"Definitely discipline. You need the discipline to make sure you read your assignment and do your homework on time. Also, time management. Especially if you have other commitments such as family or another class. Finally, I think the ability to ask for help."

"I think the skills most needed to succeed in an internet class are good study habits and the ability to manage your time. A fast reliable internet service is also very helpful in getting assignments completed in a timely fashion. Probably the most important skill is being self-motivated!"

"The skills that are needed to complete an internet class are: you need to be very disciplined with your time, you can't be a procrastinator and find yourself getting A's in an internet class. You also need to be able to teach yourself, you are learning on your own. There is a chapter given to read and you get questions to answer about that chapter, and then in your own words you need to be able to write about it. This can be hard for students who need lots of interaction in a normal classroom environment. For those types of students I wouldn't recommend internet courses. For me I like internet courses because I am able to teach myself and move ahead if needed and am not held up by others (like in a normal classroom)."

student in hallway

"The skills that one most needs to succeed in this course are patience, self-discipline, and time management. The student needs patience because there is a lot of material to go through in the book and when writing a paper, the right elements must be included to prove one's point. Patience is needed to allow the brain to soak up all the info and then bring it back in our own words. Self-discipline is needed because any Internet course can go out of control if the right amount of time is not dedicated to the material that is required. We are basically on our own out here. Time management is also important because there is a lot of reading and writing to do and if time is not managed correctly the amount of work will seem overwhelming."

"By far the most needed skill with this class was SELF-DISCIPLINE!!!! A student must have the motivation and abilities to set a schedule and follow it. Without this kind of self-motivation a student would have a difficult time succeeding in an internet class."

"I think that some of the skills that a person needs for this course are to know how to operate a computer (at least the basics), be able to work alone and turn things in with out being told when due dates are, follow written directions."

"I think to succeed in any internet class you have to be self motivated. It is also a benefit to have some experience in computers... It is most important to be able to find help or ask for it when needed as the computer does not always talk back."

"Definitely discipline and hard work pays off in any internet class. You would also have to be dedicated to setting goals, managing your time and following directions. You need time to access the internet and reading skills."

"I would say that you definitely want to be interested in the class. The reason I say this is you don't have a teacher to lecture you; it's up to you if the material gets reviewed. Another very important part of internet classes is you must set a certain day to do the work that way you don't just forget. I would also add that you would need self discipline, like an internal monitor to say no, I shouldn't go out and party tonight, because I have my internet class to complete. I would say that if you are missing one of these, it will become a burden instead of a joy to be learning something new."