What does it take to be a successful DL learner?

Work Habits

DL classes are convenient and flexible but students have to be disciplined enough to make time to study and participate.

Successful DL students:
  • Log in regularly to their classes, usually at least three times per week
  • Plan to ensure enough time to study and complete assignments
  • Take notes as they study
  • Commit 9 - 12 hours per week per three-credit class
  • Enjoy communicating in writing and reading the writing of others
  • Be able to work with others via email and chat to complete projects
  • "Speak up" to their instructors when problems arise

Interactions are often an essential element of the learning experience. Be willing to share your ideas, carefully consider your responses to others, and be prepared to have your ideas challenged occasionally.


The instructor can't see students and won't know if you are confused, bored, or frustrated unless you are willing to talk to her/him about it.

Successful DL students:
  • Know how to use technology properly. Read the Blackboard Documentation to learn more about Blackboard.
  • Read and write well. Students with weaknesses in these areas can get remedial help or consider classroom learning.
  • Are comfortable addressing problems at a distance. Distance education students need to be assertive in order to make their needs known.
  • Have good time management skills to plot and follow a schedule for finishing readings and assignments.
  • Have solid research skills, including how to effectively use the Internet.
  • Have the ability to work well cooperatively, even when your communication is restricted to email or online chat.
  • Are flexible and adaptable.

Learning at a distance is an adventure that will expose you to some entirely new - and not always comfortable - experiences. The ability to be flexible and remain open minded is critical to having a positive experience as you move into uncharted territory.

This page developed and maintained by Online Learning for Students. Send comments and suggestions to kebellnier@ccri.edu .

Last Updated: 12/18/17