student characteristics is used in the sciences of learning and cognition to designate a target group of students and define those aspects of their personal, academic, social or cognitive self that may influence how and what they learn. Student characteristics are important for instructional designers as they allow them to design and create tailored instructions for a target group.

It is the expected that by taking account of the characteristics of students, more efficient, effective and/or motivating instructional materials can be designed and developed. Student characteristics can be personal, academic, social/emotional and/or cognitive in nature.


Personal characteristics

Personal characteristics often relate to demographic information such as age, gender, maturation, language, social economic status, cultural background, and specific needs of a student group such as particular skills and disabilities for and/or impairments to learning. Academic characteristics are more education and/or learning related such as learning goals (of an individual or a group), prior knowledge, educational type, and educational level. Social/emotional characteristics relate to the group or to the individual with respect to the group. Examples of social/emotional characteristics are group structure, place of the individual within a group, sociability, self-image, mood, et cetera.

Cognitive Characteristics

Cognitive characteristics relate to such things as attention span, memory, mental procedures, and intellectual skills which determine how the learner perceives, remembers, thinks, solves problems, organizes and represents information in her/his brain. With respect to learner characteristics, there are often large differences between the characteristics of different learners and groups of learners such as children, students, professionals, adults, older people and disabled persons. These groups differ in their motivation, prior knowledge, expertise level, study time, and physical abilities. The differences within the learner characteristics have an impact on the structure of the instruction and the degree of support and guidance of the learning process


Academic achievement represents performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in institutional environment, especially in school, colleges and university; the importance of academic performance in not only psychological and educational researches but also morale and self reflection. Large-scale scholastic achievement assessments such as PISA provide an overview of the current state of research on academic performance. Academic performance especially in the subject like science and mathematics are considered to be of utmost relevance by the society as it is believed to mirror the intellectual capacity of the person.


Distance education, also called distance learning, is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via mail. Today, it involves online education. 

Distance learning, also called e-learning, and online learning, is a form of education in which the main elements include physical separation of teachers and students during instruction and the use of various technologies to facilitate student-teacher and student-student communication.

Distance education is different from the traditional education. Distance education is that educational information and instruction taught to learners who are physically distant from the source of that information and instruction. Distance education, also called distance learning, provides learning chances to people who could not afford time or money for traditional classes or who lived in remote areas far from schools. Because of the expansion of the Internet in recent years, the Internet has become the most important tool for delivering distance education.

See Samples Of Undergraduate Project Research Topics And Materials

Distance learning occurs when there is a separation between the teacher and the student, usually due to geographical or time concerns that prevent the student from attending an on-campus course. Often, electronic means are used to bridge this gap and distribute educational material though distance learning programs using printed and mailed materials have existed for well over a hundred years. These programs have usually been specially designed to help best meet the needs and requirements that arise when learning is taking place outside of a traditional classroom setting. The majority of distance education today takes place using the Internet, now readily accessible for the vast majority of students whether in their own homes or at facilities such as local libraries. These electronic means are used to distribute the learning material, keep students in touch with teachers, and provide access to communication between students.


  1. You can pursue a job along with studies:A major chunk of students who actually opt for distance education are those who don't want to give up their jobs but want a higher education, too. Distance education comes as a blessing for such students. You can study on the weekends, when you're back from work or even in the middle of the night. You get to learn while you earn.
    2. You can save money:For any given program, the fee of a distance education degree (online or otherwise) may be much more affordable than the fee of a regular on-campus degree. Students who are looking for economically viable options can go for a distance learning program.
  2. You save time:There's no time wasted in going to and from college, no time wasted waiting for a bus or train. In a distance learning program, your classroom is right in your bedroom - the study material on your desk or the e-material on your computer. Students who don't have enough time on their hands can turn to distance education as an option and pursue it from the comfort of their homes.
  3. You can learn at your own pace: the prospect of going back to classroom education can be intimidating for many of us. Asking a question or revealing that you are unable to grasp a concept in class can e quite embarrassing for many students. Distance education comes to your rescue here.

If you are self-disciplined and self-motivated, the best benefit of distance education is that you can learn at your own pace. It's a known fact that different people learn in different ways and at different speeds. In a classroom, when everyone is being taught together, it is often difficult to have every student on the same page. Some students are too shy to raise their doubts in class. This is where distance education has an advantage over a regular campus program. Since you are given all course work beforehand, you can study as much or as little as you want every day, as long as you complete your study material within the stipulated time. If you've doubts or queries, there are discussion forums, chat facilities with faculty and complete support from the distance education provider.

  1. You can study whenever, wherever:Except in scenarios where you have to attend an online tutorial at a given time or a lecture through videoconferencing, you can pretty much study whenever you want to, wherever you choose to. You need not be stuck in a classroom, but can go study in your garden, on your living room couch or in the comfort of your own bed. Irrespective of whether you're a morning lark or a night owl, you can choose an optimum time to study whenever you're at your productive best.
  2. Gaining recognition among employers:Distance education over the years has finally found some acceptance and recognition among employers, which is an encouraging sign. As long as the distance learning program is accredited, you need not be worried


There has been many works performed on student characteristics of distance education. Student characteristics like motivation, learning styles, gender, and, learning strategies played a very important role in academic achievement. There are some factors that motivate undergraduate students to choose online or traditional course formats. Students, who chose distance learning, control over Face and timing of learning was more important; for students who chose face-to-face (FTF) course, interaction with instructor and students was paramount. There are gender differences in motivational and behavioral learning strategies in the Internet-based cyber-learning environment and found highly significant gender differences in the category of textual encoding strategies, in which males showed stronger behavioral and motivational learning strategies. As well as these student characteristics mentioned above, self-efficacy studies are also very popular for distance education. The effect of student motivation on performance in Web-based instruction (WBI) and found that student’s self-efficacy for self-regulated learning positively related to his/her academic self-efficacy, strategy use, and Internet self-efficacy. In a work aiming to form a model that can predict the satisfaction of Web based adult distant learners and their intention to join again in the distance education courses to be presented through Web in the future. Self efficacy in computer knowledge was the only statistically significant variable that can help predict the achievement.


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