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Do I Have the Profile of an Online Learner?

An Online Learning Survey

1. Do I have the goal of furthering my education, yet still need to work and/or take care of my family?

A major benefit of pursuing education online is the flexibility of the course work. Working adults or stay at home parents frequently find online learning a good match for them.

2. Can I perform basic computer functions such as create, save and manage files on a computer, navigate the Internet, download files, attach files to an email message and save and open attached files from an incoming email?

The primary means of communication between an online student and an online instructor is through email and Blackboard, a software program that many institutions use to deliver online educational content. Being comfortable with computers, browsing the Internet and using email is an essential prerequisite for online learning.

3. Do I have access to a computer and the Internet?

For the reasons described under #2, having easy, frequent access to both a computer and the Internet is vital. If you do not own your own computer or do not have an Internet connection at your home, contact your local library or explore Internet cafes and other nearby venues. Libraries often have a computer lab for public use. You will want to bring a USB flash drive to save your documents.

4. Do I consider myself to be self-motivated?

Most work, including tests and reading and writing assignments, for online courses is done on the student’s own schedule. A successful online student is an independent, self-motivated learner.

5. Can I communicate effectively with others in a group environment?

Online instructors sometimes assign group projects that require the collaboration of all the members to produce a cohesive document. Many classes also have group discussions that call for tact and diplomacy in the exchanging of different viewpoints.

If you answered "yes" to most of the above questions, then online learning may be the right option for you.

Return to the Online College Guide.