Your need regarding Online Education
Your need regarding Online Education In a nutshell, online
education requires self-discipline, organization, and the
ability to use modern technology. Students must be able to learn
through written words, not audible words. And they must feel
comfortable sharing information over the Internet. Students must
also believe their education can be learned without ever
stepping foot in a traditional classroom setting.
To determine whether or not online education is right for you,
you need to be honest with yourself and ask the following
Why do you really want to return to college?
Understanding the real reason for returning to college is vital
to your success. If you're returning to college just to have
something to do in the evenings, returning to college is not for
you. But if you are returning to college to better your
lifestyle, get a raise, advance your career, or set an example
for your children, then there's a 90% chance you'll not only
complete your courses, but get a good education in the process.
Why do you want to pursue an online education instead of
attending a traditional in-person college?
If you're a social butterfly who flourishes when others are
around, attending an online course may not be for you. If, on
the other hand, you're quiet and reserved, online education can
be your ticket to success.
"Research indicates that quiet students often thrive in online
courses," says Dr. Stella Thompson, an online Assistant
Professor of English at Prairie View A&M University. "This
environment enables quiet students to consider a response and to
compose and revise that response multiple times before making
their knowledge public."
Do you tend to quit a project due to lack of motivation?
If you can't stay motivated on your own, an online institution
is not your best choice for getting a degree. Attending an
online college means you must be self-motivated. You won't find
the professor, or another student reminding you to get to work,
stay on task, or turn your assignments in on time. "Completing a
demonstrates a tremendous commitment and discipline on behalf of
the student," says Shari Sterling, Director of Enrollment
Management at Northcentral University. "The student must be
self-motivated to be successful."
Do you work better alone or with other people around?
Can you work in solitude? While you may be networking with other
people through the Internet, you won't see these people
face-to-face and that can feel isolating at times. Do you need
in-person study groups to help you complete assignments and
shoot ideas off of, or can you find the same help from Internet
interaction? Why does one method work better for you than the
Do you learn better by reading, by listening, or by seeing?
When you read information, do you comprehend what you've read
easily or must you read the information several times to
understand what is being said? If you find it difficult to
comprehend information when read, and learn better through
visual or audible techniques, you may want to find a traditional
Can you write your thoughts down so others understand what
points you are conveying?
Since online courses
require the use of written words to ask and answer questions, as
well as turning in assignments, you must be comfortable with
sharing your ideas in written form.
How many hours can you devote to learning, studying, and
You need to set aside time every day to work on your courses.
Whether you're researching, reading, completing an assignment,
or meeting your classmates in an online forum, your education
needs to have a priority in your busy schedule.
"Just because you don't have to attend school at a particular
time everyday, doesn't mean you don't need a daily or weekly
regimen," says Terri Main, an online instructor and teacher of
20 years. Your schedule "may vary from day to today, or simply
be spending 30 minutes a day on your education, but it needs to
Does your work require you to travel a lot?
If you're constantly away from your home computer, it can be
difficult to get your assignments done. However, it's not
impossible. If you travel a lot, you'll need to invest in a
laptop computer and wireless Internet access.
Do you have a working computer in your home?
If your computer is over two years old, it could be outdated and
unable to handle the demands of attending an online institution.
You need to find out what kinds of software programs are needed
for the course you plan to take and if your computer has enough
RAM, and hard drive space. Keep in mind that you can use an
older computer, but if it doesn't have enough memory or space to
run a particular program it will stall and freeze, which can be
very frustrating and eventually cause you to quit.
Do you have dial-up Internet access or high-speed cable/DSL?
The courses you take will determine which Internet access is
best. If you have dial-up Internet access, you'll need to set
aside more time for research, uploading, and downloading. Do you
understand how the Internet works?
When taking online courses, you'll need to understand more than
just how to log onto the Internet. You'll need to understand:
* how search engines work; * how to send and receive email; *
how to attach documents in an email; * how to download programs
or documents to your computer; * how to find downloads later,
when you need them; * how to use hyperlinks; * how to use chat
rooms, message boards, forums, or instant messaging and what the
proper etiquette is; * how to protect your private information;
and * how to protect your computer from hackers, spam, and
viruses. Do you know how to cut and paste?
Sometimes you'll need to take information you've written in one
program and put it in another program. This is called "cut and
paste." If you don't know how to do this, find out how before
you begin your online education.
Do you find learning new computer programs easy or hard?
Depending on the online course you take, you may need to
download new software programs. If you find it difficult to
learn new computer technology, you'll need to either set aside
more time for learning, or take a traditional class. "Online
learning can be completely dynamic and engaging! Whether it is
due to health, excessive job travel, military personnel
stationed overseas, or living in a remote or rural area,
continuing your education and earning your degree online" is
possible, says Sterling.