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The Distance Learner Competencies: A Three-Phased Empirical Approach


Educational Technology Research and Development Volume 59, Number 1, ISSN 1042-1629


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.


Hong, S. & Jung, I. (2011). The Distance Learner Competencies: A Three-Phased Empirical Approach. Educational Technology Research and Development, 59(1), 21-42. Retrieved September 22, 2020 from .

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