Publish at February 17 2004 Updated January 06 2022

The implementation of study environments for distance learning

Six elements to put in place

25 %!!

Distance learning has so far relied on a meager 25 % of the population to thrive.

Reaching 100 % of the population means dealing with the intellectual and methodological access difficulty of distance learning.

How to reach everyone?

In response to this problem, in 1996, at IFAQ (Institut de formation autochtone du Québec- Native training Insitute of Quebec), we created a study environment for distance education for school dropouts. With a clientele whose school failure rate was 100%, whose mother tongue was rarely French, we were predicted to be in for a disaster.

This center operated in Wendake for 5 years for "off-reserve" Indian students who flocked to the city: Montagnais, Algonquin, Cree, Malecite, Atikamekw, Abenaki. The success rate of the 300 or so students who attended this center reached 95 %.

Here are the six elements that were systematically put in place. When these conditions are met, failures are almost impossible.

So, to expand the use of distance learning to an entire population, whether it is within a company, a college, or a municipality, a study environment will be the essential complement. And the environment works with paper-based courses as well as computer-based ones.

The Six Elements of a Working Study Environment for Distance Learning

© Thot Cursus

There are six main factors that limit the success of distance learners, and none of these factors are related to the courses themselves:

   1. Self-esteem,
   2. Work method,
   3. Language proficiency,
   4. Access to references and tools,
   5. Enabling environment and
   6. Personal and technical support.

The study environment aims to address these six factors by providing:

  1. A physical environment dedicated to study

    • Dedicated, welcoming, and disciplined place.
    • This is not a multipurpose room or an office cubicle with a phone.
    • There are rules, schedules, and conditions for study.
  2. A personal support

      To help, guide, encourage, monitor, sanction, discipline.
    • Statistics are kept on each student.
    • The student keeps his or her own personal statistics.
    • Support is provided by a person who is knowledgeable in learning techniques, references, and tools.
    • This person is also able to facilitate administrative processes with distance learning institutions (DLI).
  3. A study method and learning techniques
    • This is a prerequisite course  where the individual learns to recognize their manifestations of misunderstanding and how to resolve them on their own.
    • They learn to maintain interest and use references that apply to their field of study.
  4. A guarantee of mastery of the language and communication tools

    • A guarantee  of mastery of the language of study at the level necessary for the course taken. This may be through a basic course, at a distance.
    • We ensure that the student is able to use the equipment (computer, software, etc.). according to the needs of the course to be followed without it being a concern for him.
  5. Access to available references and tools

    • The location offers all the references necessary for the success of a course: dictionaries, atlases, encyclopedias, professional and specialized references.
    • The location offers access to the Internet and audio and video conferencing tools (virtual classroom).

  6. A promotion of success

    Success is the best way to increase self-esteem and confidence in one's abilities as a "student."
    • Progressive successes are promoted.
    • The prerequisites are ensured.
    • Opportunities are provided to show and demonstrate what is learned, to the facilitator or to others.
    • Successes are displayed and each success is publicly recognized.


Illustration: Ruslan Guzov - ShutterStock

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