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Is An Online Course Right For You?

The ten questions in the survey reflect some of the facts about taking online courses.

  1. Textual materials presented on the Internet are the primary source of directions and information for online courses; therefore, strong reading skills are very important for success in an online course.

  2. You should be able to complete the following Internet tasks to be successful in an online course: navigate the Internet, use email, including attaching a file to an email message, download a program from the Internet and install it, and doing a search on the Web.

  3. Online courses require frequent and diverse uses of technology for accessing information and assignments; therefore, you need to be comfortable working with various types of technology to be successful in an online course.

  4. Online students sometimes neglect courses because of personal or professional circumstances, unless they have specific and compelling reasons for taking the course. Procrastination is the most common pitfall in taking an online course; don't let it happen to you!

  5. Some students prefer the independence of online courses, others find it uncomfortable.

  6. Online courses offer students greater freedom of scheduling, but they can require more self-discipline than on-campus courses.

  7. Some people learn best by interacting with others. Interacting in an online course is different than a on ground course. Students need to take responsibility for contacting other students and the instructor when they have questions.  Otherwise the instructor will assume that everything is fine.

  8. Online courses require more self-direction since face-to-face instructions are sometimes not available.

  9. In online courses, instructors are not able to respond to questions immediately like they are in on-campus classes.

  10. Online courses require AT LEAST as much dedicated time by the student as on-campus courses. Typically, successful students report spending more time - not less - than for a regularly scheduled class.

Which of these characteristics are your strengths?

Which of these characteristics cause you concern? 

Copied with permission from the California Virtual Campus Orientation to Online Learning Guidebook.

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Last updated 2/08/07