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Are Online Courses Right For You?

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:

  1. Am I comfortable with using the computer and the Internet?
  2. Do I have 24/7 access to a computer and the Internet?
    1. Is there a back up plan in case of emergency (e.g. computer crashes, power outage, or Internet isn’t working)?
    2. Will I be sharing the computer with a roommate or family?
  3. Do I have 10-15 hours a week to dedicate to assignments for each online course?
  4. Am I a procrastinator or am I a good manager of my time?
  5. Can I work independently or does my learning style require an instructor in a classroom setting?  Do I prefer to learn on my own?
  6. Are my reading and comprehension skills strong?  Can I read and follow directions accurately?
  7. Do I enjoy reading?
  8. Do I write and express myself effectively?
  9. 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?
  10. 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!