Important Behaviors that Should Be Acquired Distance Learning

by Guillermo Bautista Jr.

Distance learning can be very demanding in terms of time. This course is even more demanding because it’s a trimestral course. Students have to read and accomplish things in almost half the time of the semestral courses.

I think that the most important behavior that learners should acquire in a distance learning environment is self-motivation. In face-to-face classes, students are forced to accomplish things because of their physical presence in the classroom. A student who is assigned to present a report and who could not do it would really look “bad” in front other students and the teacher. A scenario such as this does not usually happen in a distance learning environment. Most of the time, it is up to the student if he will accomplish the tasks and if he will accomplish them on time. Hence, self-motivation is very important in distance learning.

Self-motivation is an example of self-efficacy. According to Albert Bandura cited in Cherry(2017), self-efficacy is “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations.” Here, prospective situations mean the goals or objectives that a person is trying to reach. For example, in distance learning courses, one of the goals of a student with high self-efficacy is to finish the course on time, with maximum understanding as well as high grades. Goals such as these will motivate that student to be more organized in his or hear learning and he or she will make every effort to submit the requirements on time to the best of quality.

New students in distance learning have to make adjustments too. I remember observing how my classmates answer questions. Later in this module, I realized that I was using mediational processes proposed by Bandura which is cited in McLeod (2011). According to Bandura, there are four meditational processes in observational learning: attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation. Attention is observing behavior, retention is remembering the observed behavior, reproduction is performing the observed behavior, and motivation is the will to perform the observed behavior.

In my case, during my first trimester, I observed how my classmates answer questions. Some would just post their opinions to questions, while others will have references (attention). Of course, I picked up the latter. This is which is observing behaviors. According to Bandura, many of the daily behaviors are not noteworthy, so it is very important for us to be attentive in observing. In my case, I picked up the noteworthy one which is having references every time you write your answer.

I also have remembered what I have learned (retention) and I applied it by including references every time I post my answer in a discussion forum (reproduction). Lately, I already became motivated to do it (motivation).

These changes in behavior did not just happen to me. I have observed these changes happen to other students too. Some students who post without references later post references after seeing other students do it.

These changes also relate to self-motivation. You observe to learn from others because you are motivated to learn.

References

Cherry, K. (2016). Self Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters. Retrieved May 28, 2017, from https://www.verywell.com/what-is-self-efficacy-2795954

McLeod, S. (2011). Saul McLeod. Retrieved May 28, 2017, from https://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html

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