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KCTCS Online: Learn By Term

Orientation: Is Distance Learning for Me?

How do I know if I am the "right type" for this mode of learning?

People learn in different ways and at different rates. Some students enjoy listening to lectures, others draw concepts in their notebooks, yet others enjoy working in small groups. Visual learners tend to do best in Learn By Term courses. Others learn to adapt. Learn By Term is not restricted by time or location, and as a result, it is a convenient learning environment for adults who have busy lives. However, it may not be right mode of learning for you. Find out about your learning preference by taking the Learning Styles Inventory developed by Barbara Soloman and Richard Felder, Index of Learning Styles.

Learn By Term is different in many respects from the traditional face-to-face learning we're all used to, primarily in the way we get our information and how we interact with instructors and classmates. Many people say they learn more Learn By Term, and their retention is better too. These are the traits that successful online students possess, to varying degrees:

  • Self-Directed
  • Motivated
  • Comfortable with computers
  • Able to use email, internet browser, word processor
  • Like to read and write
  • Inquisitive
  • Disciplined
  • Independent
  • Able to stay on task

These questions may help you decide if Learn By Term learning is for you:

Are you self-directed and motivated?

Most of online learning happens on your schedule. You'll need to be self-directed and motivated to complete activities on schedule and initiate the communication required to be successful. You'll be responsible for creating the structure to finish each course.

Are your technical skills adequate?

Along with having access to a computer and not being overwhelmed by typing, Learn By Term learners should be comfortable with internet browsing and searching, email, sending and reading attachments, word processing, and sometimes downloading and installing software plug-ins (a normally simple but sometimes intimidating task).

Do you have strong reading skills?

Reading can play a large part in any class, and especially online. The ability to read and comprehend subject matter without it being a chore is critical to your success.

Does written communication come easily for you?

In most cases writing is the primary method of communication in Learn By Term classes, so you should be at ease with writing to express your thoughts, share ideas, and ask questions.

Will you ask questions when you need to?

If you typically don't hesitate to seek help when you need it you'll do fine. Since you'll be in an elearning environment it's important to let your instructor and classmates know when you need help. Remember that they won't be able to see your looks of doubt, confusion, or other body language to tell when things aren't going well.

Will you miss the social interaction?

Interaction with instructors and classmates in Learn By Term is often an integral part of the learning experience. Absent is the in-person contact - being able to see facial expressions, hear reactions, and speak. Campus life may be different or non-existent too.

Do you have the discipline to study regularly?

Like a traditional school you'll need to set aside adequate time for study. You may discover that you need to be online frequently to complete assignments or communicate with classmates and instructors. You can plan to spend at least as much time working assignments and studying as you would with a traditional course, and you'll be setting your own pace in many instances.

If you're satisfied with your answers to these questions, you're likely to be satisfied with a Learn By Term learning course. The link below provides essential student support information to help you decide about taking online courses and what it takes to succeed.

Are Learn By Term Courses for Me?

Blackboard Student Support

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