The Importance of Self-discipline in Distance Learning

By: Stephanne Dennis

Earning a degree online requires self-discipline and motivation since students set their own pace and study schedules.

The Importance of Self-discipline in Distance Learning

Distance learning is one of the newer, and increasingly popular ways to accomplish a higher education. Colleges and universities everywhere are jumping on the proverbial bandwagon in attempt to lure students, often non-traditional students, into joining their ranks from the comfort of their own homes. The question that remains is: Does distance learning satisfy the needs of the student?

This is a difficult question to answer as situations vary from student to student, class to class, and school to school. This essay is written based on my experience as an online student for over two years. I relay my opinions only, please accept them as such.

Distance learning, or in this example online learning, is not meant for all types of students. First and foremost, the student must exhibit loads of self-discipline. Part of the appeal of online learning is that it can be done when you have the time and the inclination to do it. There is no set class schedule stating what times and days you must attend. There is no professor to give you the evil eye if you don’t turn assignments in on time. Policing oneself is the most challenging aspect to this type of learning environment. However, the benefit of logging on when you decide is easily the biggest draw of online learning. For today’s working professionals this non-traditional method is often the only feasible way to advance their educations.

By Stephanne Dennis, a writer at