Understanding Distance Learning Students
September 1, 2005
Distance learning students tend to have demographics and characteristics that make them, as a group, a bit different than traditional graduate students attending campus-based classes. Understanding these differences can help you tailor your ADLN courses to meet the needs of distance learning students.
Some of the major differences are:
- Age - Distance learning students tend to be, on average, older than graduate students in campus-based programs. At WPI, more than 50% of ADLN students are over the age of 35.
- Employment Status - Many distance learning students work full-time and take classes on a part-time basis.
- Marital Status - More than half of distance learning students are married with dependents. They are often juggling their coursework with family and job responsibilities.
- Self-directed - Distance learning students tend to be self-directed. They take responsibility for managing their own learning. They need little hand-holding from instructors.
- Importance of Convenience - Since distance learning students lead busy lives, the convenience of not having to be in a specific location at a specific time is important to them. They often choose distance learning courses because they fit more easily into their lifestyles than campus-based courses.
Instructors of ADLN courses can use this information about distance learning students to help them relate to their students, make adjustments to their courses to accommodate students, and be prepared for student requests.Maintained by firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: Aug 30, 2005, 17:41 EDT