Only 30 Per Cent Of Distance Learners Complete Their Courses
July 2008 - Research from the University of Missouri published in Respiratory Care Education Annual studied the demographics and personality types of adult distance learners and concluded that this increasingly popular option may not be suitable for everyone.
Shawna L. Strickland, clinical assistant professor in the school of health professions said:
"Correlations between learning styles and success in distance education have shown to be inconclusive. However, one common theme reappears: the successful traits of a distance learner are similar to the successful traits of an adult learner in traditional educational settings."
The study found that only 30 per cent of distance learners completed their courses. Lack of institutional support and isolation inherent in online study demands determination and responsibility in students.
Shawna Strickland explained:
"The success of distance learning is dependent on communication among the learner, his or her peers and the instructor. To encourage success in distance learning, it is necessary to evaluate each individual's needs on a case-by-case basis."
The study found that quiet, introverted students were more likely to feel comfortable with online learning courses that offered anonymity and avoided involvement with others as in the classroom setting.
Shawna Strickland concluded:
"Distance learning allows the learner to overcome traditional barriers to learning such as location, disabilities, time constraints and familial obligations. However, not every learner will be successful in a distance learning environment."