Online courses can work for any student, just as a physical, on-site classroom with face-to-face instruction can work for any student. But often the quality of the “fit” with a particular instructor or a particular class environment varies. Taking an online class requires just as much time and effort as a face-to-face traditional course. Online courses, however, place the responsibility for course time management squarely on you, the student.
Assess your readiness for online education by asking yourself these questions:
- Am I comfortable with using the computer and the Internet?
- Do I have 24/7 access to a computer and the Internet?
- Is there a back up plan in case of emergency (e.g. computer crashes, power outage, or Internet isn’t working)?
- Will I be sharing the computer with a roommate or family?
- Do I have 10-15 hours a week to dedicate to assignments for each online course?
- Am I a procrastinator or am I a good manager of my time?
- Can I work independently or does my learning style require an instructor in a classroom setting? Do I prefer to learn on my own?
- Are my reading and comprehension skills strong? Can I read and follow directions accurately?
- Do I enjoy reading?
- Do I write and express myself effectively?
- Does my computer meet the minimum requirements for hard drive size, memory, video/graphic cards, web cam, etc.? Do I have the required software? Is my Internet connection fast enough?
- Can I send and receive email and attachments, upload files, protect my computer from viruses, enable Java and cookies, clear the cache, or download and install plug-ins?
A positive response to each of these questions indicates that you are most likely ready to be a distant student!