Is Online Learning for You?

Distance learning may not be appropriate for everyone. Some students find distance learning a positive experience.  Others have more difficulty succeeding in this type of class.  Possessing certain qualities may increase your chance of success in the distance learning environment. Answer the questions below to determine if distance learning is for you.

When you have answered all the questions, click the Score button at the bottom of the page.

Having face-to-face interaction with my instructors and fellow students is

 not particularly important to me


 somewhat important to me


 very important to me


I would classify myself as someone who


has good organizational skills and often completes assignments ahead of time


has weak organizational skills, needs reminding about assignments, and often procrastinates


has poor organizational skills and sometimes forgets to complete assignments



When an instructor provides directions for an assignment, I prefer


figuring out the directions myself


trying to follow the directions on my own, then asking for help as needed


having the instructions explained to me



When it comes to assessing my own progress, I


feel as if I can keep tabs on my progress, even without immediate or frequent feedback


prefer to receive regular feedback, but it need not be immediate


need feedback immediately and often



My need to take a distance delivered course is


high - I need it immediately for a degree, job advancement or other important reason


moderate - I could take on campus or substitute another course


low - it’s a personal interest that could be postponed



Considering my professional and personal schedule, the amount of time I have to work on a distance learning course is


7-9 hours per week


4-6 hours per week


1-3 hours per week



When I am asked to use software or technologies that I haven’t used before (such as e-mail, voice mail, a VCR)


I look forward to learning new skills


I feel apprehensive, but try anyway


I put it off or try to avoid it



If I had to describe my learning style or preference, I would say it is


visual - I learn best when I can read the course materials or view graphics


auditory - I learn best when I can listen to an explanation of a concept


tactile - I learn best by “doing” (for instance conducting an experiment)


My personal and professional schedule is


always predictable; I can generally plan, well in advance, blocks of time to devote to classwork


usually predictable; but sometimes last minute meetings or events come up that cannot be rescheduled


kind of crazy; I rarely know when I’m foing to have free time that I can set aside for class work



My reading and writing skills are


excellent; I understand most of what I read and can express myself clearly


average; I sometimes need assistance understanding what I have read or writing clearly


poor; I often have difficulty understanding written materials or expressing myself clearly



Your total score is   



Total score > 21: Distance learning is a good option for you.

Total score between 15 and 20: Distance learning may be a possibility for you. Review the explanation of the questions to determine more about whether distance learning is appropriate for you or whether you may experience difficulty with online course work.

Total score < 14: Distance learning may not be the best option for you. Read the explanation of the questions and see if you agree with why distance learning may not be your best choice.