Is online learning for me?

You decide. Read and find out more about online learning.


1. Do you have access to a computer and the Internet?


In order to take an online class through UTC, you must have access to a computer with an Internet connection on a daily basis. Technical needs are listed on the web site. Review these recommendations. Your computer is a very important aspect of online learning. You need to feel confident that you have the necessary equipment to allow you to perform to the best of your ability.


2. Are you comfortable with basic computers skills?


It is important that as a student you can concentrate your time and effort on learning content and not computer skills.Basic computer skills are listed on the web site. Be aware that these are basic recommendations. Your instructor may require a different knowledge base. You or someone you know should also feel comfortable dealing with computer glitches because you will probably encounter at least one problem during your online experience. 


3. How do you work best?


Taking courses online requires you to be responsible for your own learning. You will not receive face-to-face supervision guiding and reminding you of your assignments and lessons. You will need to be aware of the requirements of the course and fulfill these requirements in a timely manner set forth by your instructor. You may not be provided immediate feedback. In this situation, you need to be prepared to attempt to figure out directions on your own. If you believe you can have a quality learning experience online, then you probably will.


4. Can you manage your time and remain organized in order to complete your course work?


You may need to set aside a specific time in order for you to work in your course on a regular basis. Developing a routine and being organized will help you manage your time. Your instructor may require you to complete a number of tasks and assessments at the same time. You will need to be prepared for multitasking with different components of the online course. Organization will allow you to concentrate your efforts on the content of the course.


5. How do you prefer to communicate?


Most of the conversations you have with your classmates and instructors will be in the form of writing. This includes chatting, discussion forums and emails, as well as documents assigned by the instructor. You need to be able to convey your message thoroughly and completely. Also, you need to be comfortable reading from your computer screen or printing off information for your records. Generally, video and/or audio may be a smaller component to the class than reading and writing.


6. Are you a self-starter?


Being motivated to begin working on a project or a discussion is an important characteristic of online learners. Starting an assignment with limited encouragement from the instructor saves you and the instructor time.


7. What kind of student describes you?


There are many issues that may arise during an online course that will require flexibility. These issues could be technical or academic. An online learner needs to be able to resolve or deal with certain problems in order to complete the assignments.


8. Are you comfortable asking questions for clarification?


If you are uncertain about an assignment it is important to ask questions. Your classmates, as well as your instructor, may be able to provide you with answers. The online environment limits the instructors ability to see confusion in body language and facial expressions. You will need to make the instructor aware of the problem if you need their assistance.


9. Are you severely restricted in the amount of time you can spend per week on your online course?


One major misconception about online learning is that an online class requires less time and is easier than a traditional class. Generally, in an online course, it is hard for a student to remain in the background and not participate. You will have to interact with your classmates and instructor and demonstrate your knowledge of the content. In addition to your time spent in the course, you may have to study and complete assignments offline.


10. Are you open to sharing experiences to make connections in learning?


Sharing your experiences makes class more exciting. Most of the conversations take place asynchronously which allows you to read a posting and then provide feedback and comments. This arrangement is conducive to taking your time to provide examples of meaningful life experiences. Synchronous communication is more immediate and may not allow you to give thought-provoking details; however, it is important to try to provide on-topic experiences.