Before you Register
Online courses are not "easy" and are not the right learning environment
for everyone. If you have the right qualities and learning style to successfully
complete an online course, you will most likely find it to be a very worthwhile
and convenient substitute to a traditional in-class course.
Before you enroll in an online course, please consider the following:
- Does your computer meet the
minimum specifications recommended when taking an online course?
- Many learning activities in online courses are asynchronous, meaning that students
participate and complete their assignments at different times throughout the week.
This allows greater flexibility and freedom for when you complete the coursework.
However, students often lack the self-discipline necessary to honor assignment due
dates and procrastinate with completing coursework without the structure of regular
class meetings and reminders from instructors. It is your responsibility to pace
yourself and keep up with the coursework.
- Students need to devote the same amount of time to online courses as they would
a traditional course. Completing coursework can take from five to fifteen hours
or more per week. Additionally, taking an online course may require you to be online
almost every day of the week to check for new postings and communications.
- When taking an online course, it is necessary to have virtually unlimited access
to a computer with internet access and feel comfortable using the computer and technology
to complete coursework. Word processing and internet browsing skills are crucial
to your success in an online course.
- Students taking online courses are often faced with problems that are simply out
of their control, i.e. computer viruses, power outages, servers down, etc. Students
should think ahead about problems like these and have a back-up plan in place. Students
also need to regularly back-up and save their course files.