About Online Learning

Taking courses online is convenient and rewarding. You will experience the most success if you're knowledgeable about some important online learning facts before enrolling to complete your degree.

While online courses can offer more flexibility in scheduling, they require more self-discipline and independence.

In an online environment, you will be starting and working on tasks on your own, without someone keeping you focused. Being self-disciplined is important in order to follow the class schedule and meet deadlines.

Plan to spend at least as much time working on the assignments and studying as you would with a traditional in-person course. Time that you need to devote to a 3-credit course will be approximately 12 hours a week or so depending on your knowledge of the subject matter.

Our best advice is to log in frequently and develop regular study schedules to help keep yourself on track.

Online courses will continue developing and changing even if you are not online. Plan to access your online course frequently in order to keep up with the content flow, complete assignments, follow discussions and communicate with your class colleagues and instructor. Some courses may even require you to log in every day. 

Don't worry, many people take online courses – You got this!

You need to have a basic knowledge of computer and Internet skills in order to be successful in an online course. Fortunately our IT department can help too!

  • Knowledge of terminology, such as browser, IMHO, application, etc.
  • Understanding of basic computer hardware and software; ability to perform computer operations, such as:
    • Using keyboard and mouse
    • Managing files and folders: save, name, copy, move, backup, rename, delete, check properties
    • Software installation, security and virus protection
    • Using software applications, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email clients
    • Knowledge of copying and pasting, spell-checking, saving files in different formats
    • Sending and downloading attachments
  • Internet skills (connecting, accessing, using browsers) and ability to perform online research using various search engines and library databases. Visit Distance Library Servicesfor more information.

Ability to use online communication tools, such as email (create, send, receive, reply, print, send/receive attachments), discussion boards (read, search, post, reply, follow threads), chats, and messengers.

You need to have strong reading skills and be able to communicate effectively through writing. Most of the material in the online environment will come from your textbooks and written lectures, therefore strong reading and critical thinking skills are very important for success in an online course.

Online students communicate through text-based tools, such as emails, discussion forums, chats and instant messaging. You need to feel comfortable expressing yourself in writing.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember that you, not the instructor, must be in control of your learning process.

You can do this!