From the practical to personal, there are many questions you need to ask yourself if you are interested in an online education. This article addresses the obvious and not-so-obvious minimum requirements for you to operate effectively as an online student.
1. Do you have regular access to a computer and the internet?
Having regular access to a computer and the internet is required for all online courses. This could be your own or accessed through a reliable source, like a parent or a library.
2. Do you have basic computer and internet skills?
Having a computer and internet access isn’t enough. Being able to navigate your computer and software easily, will make your online experience easier. A working knowledge of word processing, email and internet browsing software is a must.
3. Are you an independent learner?
While many online classes to have discussion areas, where you can talk to peers, knowing that you are good, or even excel, at working on your own is important as most class work, homework and tests is done on your own.
4. Do you have 8, or more, hours a week to devote to classes?
Most people love online education because they can fit it in to their busy schedule. However, if your schedule is too busy, it will make keeping up very difficult and could set you up for failure.
5. Are you able to communicate well in writing?
Since nearly all online coursework is done through discussion groups and email, being able to communicate your idea in writing is important. Not just to get your point across, but for the instructor to see what you have learned in the class.
6. Did you know online classes tend to be less expensive than their campus counterparts?
Due to online courses requiring less resources to run, you will tend to see that classes cost less per unit than a brick and mortar class.
7. Were you aware that online classes are easier to fit into busy lives?
It’s true! A lot of online courses allow you to work on your own schedule. This means, you can pack your classes into late nights, lunch time, or even weekends. There are even some courses that allow you to work at your own pace.
8. Did you know you can take both online and campus classes?
Some campuses allow you to supplement your schedule with online courses. This helps when the on campus classes you need are full or not scheduled for each term.
9. Are you prepared to sometimes attend online classes in person?
Because of the way certain tests are set up, going to a campus to complete them is sometimes required. There are also other testing places set up if a campus is not near enough for you to attend.
10. Do you have a support system of family and friends?
Having people who understand what you are undertaking can make some of the pressure of school easier to deal with and can make it easier to be successful. Besides, having your own section to cheer you on can make the hard parts easier to recover from!
If all of these are things you have or have said yes to, online education is an excellent solution for you!