Many students find that although online (distance learning) courses offer flexibility, there are many other issues that they should have considered as they were selecting an educational program.
The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support is currently offering an online self-assessment to help you determine if you're properly motivated, have the study habits, time, and ability to be successful before you enroll in online or distance learning college classes.
According to DANTES, research has shown that there are specific characteristics that can predetermine your success in college – these apply to both distance learning and classroom based studies.
The following is the list of characteristics that can predict your academic success:
- Computer skills and access to the internet
- Good work and study habits
- Prior educational experience
- Ability to set and pursue goals
- Compatible life circumstances – work, home, etc.
- Good organization skills
DANTES points out that no assessment can predict success in distance learning courses, but, having a clear understanding of your circumstances and how they may impact your studies, can be the difference between completing the class or not.
Knowing your limitations can help you better prepare for the challenges of balancing school, work, and home, especially the challenges which affect military students like deployments, op-tempo, duty schedules, limited access to computers and the internet.
After taking the DLRSA, you will receive an e-mail explaining your results. Areas of special concern are color coded to help draw your attention to any issues which may limit your opportunities for success. The DLRSA tool is currently available for anyone who would like to take it. Click here to begin taking the DLRSA.
DANTES hopes that this assessment, while not a substitute for one-on-one educational counseling, will help you to have a successful educational experience, whether you choose distance learning or classroom based courses.