The distance learner competencies: a three-phased empirical approach

Research Article


This study identifies a set of competencies displayed in the successful distance learner. It employed a three-phased approach. Phase I, conducted to develop an initial list of competencies, comprised Behavioral Event Interviews with nine successful distance learners. In Phase II, these competencies were reviewed, elaborated and categorized by seven distance education experts by means of semi-structured interviews. A list of 15 competencies in 5 clusters was then developed and in Phase III, these competencies and clusters were verified quantitatively by surveying 197 successful distance learners. The results reveal that all of these 15 competencies are critically important to, and commonly displayed by, successful distance learners and that of these, management skills is the most important. The findings and their implications are examined and the paper concludes with suggestions for further research into learner competencies.


Competencies Distance learner competencies Distance learning Learner competencies Online learner competencies Online learning 


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teaching and Learning CenterThe Catholic University of KoreaBucheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Education, Media and SocietyInternational Christian UniversityMitaka-shiJapan

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