Are Online Courses Right for You

While Online courses are flexible and convenient, they will require you to be an independent, active learner who is motivated, disciplined and has good time-management skills. Because Online classes are text-based (no spoken lectures) more time will be needed. You will be reading your lecture materials instead of listening to an instructor, you must type messages to communicate with your instructor and other students. Your participation in class will be through e-mail, online discussion, Blackboard or Academic Systems Corporation.

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is a web-based system which allows students and faculty to participate in classes delivered through the Internet. Blackboard enables instructors to provide students with course materials, discussion boards, online quizzes, and a variety of academic resources.

And Academic Systems Corportation

Academic Systems Corporation provides Interactive Mathematics, an award winning multimedia instructional resource that actively engages students in learning and applying mathematics. It provides comprehensive, flexible instruction in Pre Algebra, Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra and College Algebra.

Online Readiness Quiz

To see if an online class is right for you think about your answers to the following statements:

  • I need the convenience of a flexible schedule.
  • I consider myself well-organized and a good time-manager.
  • I enjoy reading.
  • I enjoy working independently.
  • I usually complete homework and assignments on time.
  • I am comfortable asking for clarification or for assistance if I need more information.
  • I would be comfortable communicating primarily through a text-based medium.
  • I am willing to spend 9 – 12 hours a week on an online class.
  • I enjoy learning new skills and technologies.
  • I have a computer at home with an Internet connection.
  • I have an Internet e-mail account.
  • I have a printer and have no problem printing course documents from the Internet or from a word processing file.
  • I can easily perform the following tasks using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word: open and close files, create and save new files, copy and paste information between different documents, and save files in different file formats.
  • I know how to use a search engine such as Yahoo or Google to find information on the Internet. I also know how to bookmark a web page or “Add to Favorites” so I can return to that page.
  • I am familiar with navigating through a website which provides navigation buttons and links.
  • I am comfortable performing all of these tasks: sending and receiving e-mail, sending and receiving e-mail attachments, uploading and downloading files.
  • I know how to protect my computer from viruses.
  • I know how to enable Java and Cookies in my Internet browser.
  • I could download and install a new Internet browser, service packs, or plug-ins if needed for an online course.

If you can answer “Yes” to most of these statements then you’ll do just fine in an online course. If you answered yes to fewer than 15 of these statements, you may want to rethink your reasons for wanting to enroll in an online course or enhance your skills in those areas before enrolling.

See Tips for Success. “Online Readiness Quiz”, “Tips for Success” and portions of other online information are courtesy of State Fair Community College.