Are You Suited for Online Education?
Below are some questions that you can ask yourself to help determine if you are cut out for online education:
- Are you self-motivated and do your work without being told twice?
- Do you stay on task while doing your work?
- Do you schedule your time well at work?
- Do you schedule your time well outside of work?
- Do you stay on task while doing work on the computer or the Internet?
- Do you follow through on tasks your boss assigns you?
- Do you answer email in a timely fashion?
- Do you complete work assignments on time?
- Do you ask your boss or colleagues for help when needed?
10. Are you willing to put in extra time for a challenging assignment?
11. Do you need constant feedback from others to make sure you are on track?
12. Can you work independently?
Basically, to be successful in online learning, one needs to be an independent worker, skilled at time management, and willing to take on a challenge. Because online students generally have a lot going on in their lives, in addition to their schooling, they cannot afford to slack off or lose focus.
So, if your answer to the above questions is a resounding “yes”, then you are definitely ready to pursue an online degree, in terms of having the necessary personal habits necessary for online learning. And if your answer is “no” for a majority of these questions, then you probably should not venture into the online education arena. If you are confused because your answers are evenly split between “yes” and “no,” you could try an online course or two, knowing that you would need to make a special effort to be prompt, stay on task, and work hard and in a consistent manner.
Reading and Comprehension Skills
- Do you enjoy reading?
- Can you generally understand most of what you read without having to re-read material more than once?
- Are you able to read college-level text books and understand them without having anyone simplify or explain what is written?
- Are you a visual learner?
- Are you able to focus and read large amounts of material in one sitting?
A majority of online learning is done through reading, whether it is reading lecture notes, the content on discussion forums, chat transcripts or course books. Thus, students pursuing an online degree must be able to quickly and efficiently read large amounts of college-level material with comprehension.
Thus, if you answered “yes” to a majority of the above questions, then you have a good likelihood of being able to succeed in an online learning environment. But, if the answers to the questions above have caused you to realize that reading is not your cup of tea, then perhaps an online education is not your best option. However, you can still make it work if you find a program that has a larger video/audio component.
- Do you have a computer at home?
- Do you have access to the Internet at home?
- Does your home computer have word processing software like Word or Word Perfect?
- Do you know how to log into your home Internet provider?
- Do you know how to use a word processing program?
- Do you know how to use email?
- Do you know how to attach and send a file through email?
- Do you know how to do Internet research?
- Do you know how to copy and paste text?
10. Do you know how to download a file from a website?
In addition to certain personal habits, online schooling also requires a requisite level of computer know-how. If you are completely computer illiterate, then online schooling is likely not the best fit for you.
And if you answered no for questions 1 – 3, you should consider purchasing a computer, an Internet connection and Word Processing software before beginning your online educational career. Although having a computer and Internet connection at home are not mandatory for pursuing an online education, not having them is a definite drawback. Students can log on from a public library or use Wi-Fi at a café or coffee shop, but the convenience of logging on from your own computer, from the comfort of your own home, is unparalleled. If you are required to log on from a public place every time you want to attend class or complete a homework assignment, you are in essence cutting away at some of the biggest benefits of an online education, which are flexibility and convenience.
Furthermore, if you answered “no” to any of questions 4 – 10, then you should likely try and improve your Internet skills before signing up for an online class.