Is Online Learning Right for Me?

Online learning offers great flexibility for students of all skill sets, but it’s important to know if it’s the right learning style for you. These questions will help you make that determination.

Are you self-directed and motivated?
Most of the online learning happens on your schedule.
You’ll need to be self-directed and motivated to complete activities and initiate the communication required to be successful.
You’ll be responsible for creating the structure to finish each course.

Are your technical skills adequate?
You need to be comfortable with Internet browsing and searching, email, sending and reading attachments, word processing, and occasionally downloading and installing software plug-ins (a normally simple, but sometimes intimidating task).

Do you have strong reading/writing skills?
The ability to read and comprehend subject matter without it being a chore is critical to your success.
In most cases writing is the primary method of communication in online classes, so you should be at ease expressing your thoughts, sharing ideas and asking questions through writing.

Will you ask questions when you need to?
If you typically don’t hesitate to seek help you’ll do fine.
Since you’ll be in an online environment it’s important to let your instructor and classmates know when you need assistance.
Remember they won’t be able to see your expressions of doubt, confusion or other body languages to indicate when things aren’t going well.

Will you miss the social interaction?
Interaction with instructors and classmates in online learning is often an integral part of the learning experience.
Absent is the in-person contact — being able to see facial expressions, hear reactions and speak.
Campus life may be different or non-existent.

Do you have the discipline to study regularly?
Like a traditional school, you’ll need to set aside adequate time for study.
You may discover you need to be online frequently to complete assignments or communicate with classmates and instructors.
Plan to spend at least as much time working on assignments and studying as you would with a traditional course, and you’ll be setting your own pace in many instances.
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