Who are the typical distance-learners and what are their goals?
The typical distance-learning student is professionally active and would like to use further education to make a career move, to reorient him- or herself or gain new knowledge. The proportion of men to women among distance-learners is even. They are often in a relationship and often also have children.
The motivation for starting a distance-learning course often lies in the students' ambition to make optimal use of opportunities to gain further education, although they are not willing to sacrifice their income or their career. The career is often of the first importance, followed by the idea of undertaking distance-learning studies.
There are certainly other types of students, however. Some are still very young and start the course while they are still at school in order to save time later. People often study during their school time in order to be able to open up two career paths for themselves in the future or to acquire as much additional knowledge as possible. Older people who want a change or to further educate themselves often see in distance-learning an ideal opportunity to achieve their aims and a qualification without having to give up their everyday life. Of course, they have the advantage of not having to enrol in an educational institution in which practically all of the students are of a younger generation. Instead, they can study calmly from home without distractions and they can determine their own pace of learning for a successful qualification.
In terms of characteristics, the typical distance-learning student can usually be defined very specifically. He or she is ambitious, goal-oriented and disciplined. Some distance-learners are regular workhorses, for whom their career or the acquisition of knowledge is high up on their list of priorities.