Although web-based courses can offer great opportunities for learning at a distance, they are not for everyone.
If you can answer "yes" to each of the following questions, you are probably ready for online learning.
If you answer "no" to any of the questions, it would be wise to put in some additional time using a computer, surfing the web, or acquiring new skills before you try an online course. If any of the question areas present major obstacles for you, you should consider other forms of course delivery.
- Do you enjoy working and learning on the computer or television?
- Are you comfortable resolving common technology glitches (i.e., locked computer screen, loose cables), or do you have ready access to someone who is willing to help you?
- Are you willing to learn new procedures that may be part of an online course?
- Do you work well alone?
- Are you self-disciplined enough to follow through with a course on your own without pressure from peers or an instructor?
- Are you comfortable with the fact that you will not see a course instructor or fellow students?
- Are you comfortable communicating via e-mail and telephone?
- Can you easily use your e-mail program, including e-mails with attachments?
- Can you download and install free software plug-ins, or do you have ready access to someone who will help you?
- Are you comfortable using your Internet browser?
- Do you have convenient access to a multimedia capable computer, a printer, and a reliable Internet connection?
- Are you well organized?
- Can you set aside time on a regular basis to work on your course?
- Are you willing to ask for help when you need it?