The Essential Hub for Distance Learners

Might go the Distance? Take this Survey!

by edgab

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Distance education programs are flexible options for people seeking to obtain a degree full time while working or raising a family. Thinking about going the distance? Grab a pen and paper and take the quiz part of the Distance Education Aptitude and Readiness Scale (DEARS) created by Dr. Robert Kizlik to see how your responses match up.

  1. I believe that knowledge is largely constructed by the learner, and that teachers are more facilitators of learning than dispensers of information.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  2. I am able to translate learning objectives that have been set for me into objectives that I can meet using my own personal style of learning.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  3. I take responsibility for my own learning in the courses I take.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  4. I am regarded by my peers as a self-starter.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  5. I can stay on task without frequent feedback about my performance.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  1. I am a person who is curious about many things.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  2. I often figure out novel ways to solve problems.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  3. I am motivated to go beyond the minimum requirements in my classes.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  4. Once I have goals or a set of objectives, I can determine what I need o do to reach them.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  5. I can remember information that I read and do not need to hear it out loud.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  6. I recognize and know how to use feedback about progress on a learning task that I have undertaken.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  7. I can follow written directions and don’t need to have them explained orally.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  8. I understand how I learn best and often think of ways I can improve.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  9. I know what I believe but I am open to other opinions that may be contrary to my beliefs.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always
  10. I enjoy learning that is challenging.
    1. Never
    2. Very Infrequently
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always

(DEARS Copyright 2001 Dr. Robert Kizlik)


The statements above describe some of the more important characteristics of self-directed learners. Such learners have a certain degree of autonomy that predisposes them to be successful in a variety of learning contexts, including distance learning or distance education.

Self-scoring instructions:

For each question, find the number next to your answer, add them all together, and write it down. This questionnaire is a non-scientific instrument and is intended only to provide general guidance for those considering taking courses online. By assessing yourself on the DEARS statements above, you should obtain some idea of your predisposition and temperament for successful distance education experiences.

Remember, it’s only an assessment! Don’t fret if you are unhappy with your results. Continue to assess your strengths and interest level in distance education. Talk with students in the forum to get a picture of what to expect or contact us directly for some guidance.

Your total number is explained below. The maximum score you could obtain is 75. The higher the number, the greater your potential to benefit from distance education experiences.

  • 55-75: You should have no difficulty with an online course. You are a fairly autonomous person.
  • 45-54: You will probably do well in an online course, but you will have to remind yourself to stay on task.
  • 30-44: An online course will be a challenge. You are likely to miss the structure and interaction of the classroom a great deal.
  • 29 and below: Distance education is probably not a good idea for you!

Hey! Any thoughts?