Students in online courses must be able to successfully manage their time in order to appropriately cover the course materials while allowing adequate study time. Although students are not given a specific time or day to attend class(es), students are expected to log-in and work on the course(s) frequently throughout the week. Online courses require self-discipline and attention to detail. Therefore, it is vital for students to keep up with each class and complete all work on time. Some courses may include synchronized learning which allows online students to interact with instructor and peers in real time (such as an interactive webinar).
Technical readiness is also a critical component of success in online courses. Students should have a functional knowledge of personal computers, including, but not limited to:
- Microsoft Office (software includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook Access, and PowerPoint) and knowledge of how to use the software
- Adobe Acrobat Reader (This can be downloaded for free online.)
- Using the internet
- E-mail, including sending attachments
- Basic computers skills that include, but are not limited to, creating and saving documents in Microsoft Word, downloading files and saving them to a computer or external drive
Having the knowledge and access to the proper equipment is a must. That includes having reliable internet connection (preferably high-speed) and a computer that meets requirements. It is good to have a back-up computer and access in case of equipment or service malfunction. See Minimal Technology Requirements to check your system.