Required Skills for Online Learners

Required Skills 

Are You Ready for Online Learning? 

Before you apply to an online degree program at Glenville State College, you should consider the following areas in relation to your potential success. Also, take our online quiz to see if online learning is right for you.

Are You Able to Make a Time Commitment? 

Online courses take as much, if not more time, than a traditional face to face course. For every 3-credit course you take you will be expected to spend 12 hours a week on that course. Will you be able to set aside sufficient time for study, homework, assignments and tests? 

Although you will not have to drive to campus, you still have to follow the course schedule provided by your instructor. Online students have to actively participate and regularly log into Blackboard. It’s recommended that you log into your course every day of the week in order to stay on track. 

If possible, never wait until the last minute to complete your assignments. Technical difficulties can arise at the most inconvenient times. One of the main reasons students are not successful in online learning is procrastination. It’s a good rule of thumb to set aside a specific time to log into your course each day.  Scheduling time for homework and assignments will make you a more successful student.  

Are You Comfortable with a Computer? 

Everyone enrolled in an online degree program needs to have a basic knowledge of computer and Internet skills. Here are some specific areas you should be familiar with: 

  • Browser, application, software, etc.  

  • Basic computer hardware and software 

  • Using keyboard and mouse 

  • Installing software  

  • Maintaining updated virus protection 

  • Creating documents in Microsoft Word  

  • Use of headset and/or a webcam 

  • Using internet for online research 

  • Understand basic computer operation such as:

    • Save, name, copy, move, backup, rename, delete, folders as well as check the  properties of folders 

    • Do you know how to copy and paste, use spell check or convert file formats 

    • Do you know how to upload and download files and attachments 

    • Use of communication tools such as email, chats, and discussion boards 

How Are Your Reading and Writing Skills? 

With online learning, you are communicating via your reading and writing skills. It is crucial that you are proficient in these areas. Some videos are provided for online learning, but most material will come from your textbooks and written lectures. Likewise, you need to be skilled in expressing yourself in writing because that will be your main mode of communication. 

Do You Consider Yourself to be Self-Motivated? 

As stated earlier, you should never procrastinate your work in an online course. Some students lack the self-discipline and independence to be a successful online learner. Traditional face-to-face courses provide an environment that keeps students focused. Are you able to start and work on tasks on your own without having that support? Are you self-disciplined and able to meet deadlines? 

Are you an Active Learner? 

When you have issues, do you feel comfortable speaking up and addressing your concerns?  In a fast paced course it is crucial that you address concerns and issues immediately. As the student, you are in control of your learning process and if you do not understand a topic you need to be confident in communicating with your instructor.  Otherwise, the instructor will never know something is wrong. The sooner you seek help with an issue the faster it will be resolved.