Is Online Learning Right for You?
Are you ready for online learning? Is it right for you?
Read about challenges to online learning; computer skills and technical support resources; and ANGEL, West Georgia Technical College's learning management system. Click on the activities and practice quizzes to test your knowledge.
Online learning requires learners to work independently. This is an important aspect of online learning. Are you able to work independently?
Online learning requires learners to have good computer skills. You will need to be able to navigate the Internet using both Internet Explorer and Firefox, use word processing programs such as Microsoft Word (used at West Georgia Technical College) including saving your file as a Microsoft Word document, use email including attaching documents and use WGTC's learning management system called ANGEL. Do you have good computer skills?
Online learning requires the learner to ask for help when needed. An instructor will not necessarily know if you do not understand an assignment or course material. They do not see you face-to-face in a classroom. You will need to ask questions in a timely manner. Are you willing to ask for help?
Online learning requires ten to fifteen hours per week per online course for learners to be successful. Will you commit to spending ten to fifteen hours per week per online course?
Online learning requires a learner to be good at organizing and managing their time. It has been shown that learners who are well-organized, self-motivated, and able to manage their time effectively, are better able to succeed in online courses.
Online learning at WGTC requires meeting course deadlines. This means that you should not wait until the day an assignment is due to begin working on it as technical problems can and do occur that create obstacles to submitting your work at the last minute. If you begin early and run into technical problems then you will have time to make arrangements to correct the problem or work around the issue that you have encountered. Completing projects in a timely manner is important in the online environment.
Online learning requires a lot of reading and writing. The online learner will be spending a lot of time reading, reflecting on, and analyzing course material. In addition, online learners will do a lot of writing including completing assignments for instructors and responding to threaded discussions with instructors and classmates. As you are taking college classes you need to be a good written communicator. This means being able to write complete sentences, have verb-noun agreement, and use proper punctuation.
Online learning requires active participation. Many instructors expect contributions to discussions from every student participating in the course. In many cases there will be one or two discussions each week of the course. There are often times learning activities like crossword puzzles that require you to have read the textbook prior to your answering the clues.
Online learning is not easier than face-to-face learning. Online learners need to be ready to take an active role in their learning to ensure a successful learning experience.