Is Online Learning For Me?
Take this questionnaire to find out if you are ready to take online classes.
1. My technology access is best described as:
I have a computer at home with Internet access and I have my own e-mail account.
Great! You’ll need to be able to download course material, get assignments and communicate with other students and your instructor.
I have regular access to a computer with Internet access, have my own e-mail account and have permission to download files.
Fabulous! You’ll need to be able to download course material, get assignments and communicate with other students and your instructor.
I don't have a computer or an e-mail address.
Contact a college advisor or counselor to help with other options. If you do not have a computer or access to a computer and the internet then online courses will not work for you.
2. My technology skills are:
Very good. I can use e-mail, Web browsers, word-processing software, and can download files and create attachments. I like trying to solve technology problems on my own and don't get frustrated easily.
Good. These are all skills you’ll likely need in any course you take.
Average. I can use e-mail, Web browsers and word-processing software. I don't feel comfortable solving technology problems on my own.
It’s good you understand these basic skills, and it would be wise to have a backup plan in case you have technology problems.
Very basic. I have used e-mail, Web browsers and word-processing software, but I get frustrated when things don't work the way they should.
Beware! You may need to get more comfortable working online and develop technical problem-solving skills before taking an online course. Contact your college. It may offer courses to help you build your skills.
3. Face-to-face communication is:
Not essential to me. I am comfortable learning without face-to-face interaction.
Good. You’ll probably feel comfortable in an online course.
Important to me, and I wonder about my ability to learn without being able to see the instructor or other students.
Consider how important this is to your learning, and decide whether or not you are currently willing to challenge yourself to learn in a new way.
Essential. I learn only if I can interact in person with the instructor and other students.
Stop here! If you can only learn in a face-to-face classroom, then online classes are not for you. You may consider taking a hybrid class (a class that combines online learning with at least half of the time spent in a traditional classroom). A hybrid class may be more flexible than traditional classes.
4. When I need help in class:
I feel comfortable asking questions and asking for help
Great. It is your responsibility to speak up if you have any questions or concerns (that may be the only way the instructor can tell if you’re challenged in any way).
I hesitate to ask questions of the instructor, but I will ask for help if I need it.
Great, it’s good that you realize when it is important to speak up. It’s likely that if the instructor doesn’t hear from you, he/she will assume you’re doing fine.
I often feel intimidated asking questions or asking for help.
It is important that you contact your instructor if you’re having any sort of problem. If you’re not likely to do this, you should consider taking a face-to-face class, which may be more comfortable.
5. The amount of uninterrupted time I have to devote to an online class is:
15 hours or more per week, anytime during the day or night.
Super! You’ll likely need this time to complete assignments and stay on task.
10-15 hours per week, mainly at night.
Good. This is the minimum amount of time you will probably need to stay on schedule in your class. Find the time of the day that works best for you and make a habit of studying then.
less than 10 hours per week.
Reconsider. To increase your online success rate, consider taking an online course when you have at least 10-15 hours per week for class.
6. I would describe my personal style as:
Self-motivated, self-disciplined and organized.
Just what you need to succeed! Keep it up.
Motivated, but I need help remembering assignments and due dates.
Keep sharp! You may need to push yourself to complete assignments, because no one will be showing up to remind you.
Spontaneous and not too disciplined. I need someone to motivate me and help me stay on top of my coursework.
If you tend to procrastinate, watch out; online classes often require you to regularly participate in discussions and assignments in the classroom. Also in online classes, you have only yourself to rely on, and can fall behind quickly!
7. My reading and writing abilities are:
Above average. I enjoy reading and writing and have confidence in my abilities.
Learning and communicating in online courses requires much reading and writing; these skills are essential.
OK. I read well, but I'm not comfortable expressing myself in writing.
You may need to work on your writing skills in order to be successful in an online course. If you are unable to accurately express yourself it will be difficult to succeed.
Below average. I don't like reading, and look for classes without a lot of writing assignments.
Online classes center around reading and writing. If this is a struggle, you will have more success taking online courses once you’ve improved your reading and writing skills. Check with your college about classes to help you with this.
8. When it comes to analyzing class materials and expressing my own opinions about them I feel…
Confident; I can analyze class materials and formulate opinions on what I've learned.
Many online classes require you to evaluate material and give your opinion- you may enjoy this opportunity to express yourself and participate in discussions with other classmates.
a bit nervous; I can sometimes analyze class materials and form opinions but it is a struggle for me
You’ll need to decide if you feel confident enough to spend the extra time it takes to understand the material well enough to express your own opinion about it
like I would rather do this with a group guiding me; analyzing material is not something I do well.
You will probably not want an online course; many online classes require you to evaluate material and give your opinion. A college advisor or counselor would be very helpful in guiding you toward other modes of learning that fit your comfort level.
9. Class discussions are:
Important to me and useful in helping me learn the information presented in class. I almost always participate in class discussions.
Great! You will probably really enjoy your online experience, as discussions are a large part of many courses.
Somewhat important to my learning. I sometimes participate in class discussions.
Discussions are a large part of online courses and often play a significant role in your final grade. If you’re not sure that you’ll be a consistent participant, you may want to reconsider taking an online course.
Not very useful to me. I don't usually participate in class discussions.
Discussions are a large part of online courses and often play a significant role in your final grade. If you don’t think you’ll participate in class discussions, you’ll probably be better off not taking online classes. Ask your college about other options.
10. When it comes to learning:
I welcome opportunities to learn new things and master new technologies.
Great. You’ll probably really like online courses!
I get nervous around new technologies, but I like to learn.
If you’re up for a challenge, online learning may still work out for you. Allow yourself ample time to work through any difficulties that may arise and see if your college offers classes to help you become more familiar with new technologies.
I get very nervous around technology and would rather not try it.
If online learning would be considered a new technology for you, it would probably be best for you to look at options other than online courses. Speak to someone in the advising office of your college for assistance.
11. I am considering taking an online course because:
I've taken an online class before and enjoyed the experience.
Super! Although classes may greatly vary, you have a general idea of what to expect.
I'm curious about online classes and have room in my schedule.
Great -- you may also want to check out our online tutorial for some hands-on experience in a sample online course.
I need the class for a graduation requirement or job situation, and I can't fit it in to my campus schedule.
If you are looking to squeeze a class into an already full schedule, it may be wise to skip an online course. If you’re just adding a class that fits your schedule better, and you have all the time required to be successful, go for it.
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