An online class

By Dr. Dolores Kiesler
Thinking about taking
an online class?
Considering whether online education
is for you?
Wondering what you need
to know or do?
If you answered “yes” to any of the
above, then read on!!!!
Are you able
to communicate well
in writing?
Online classes require
not only written communication
for individual assignments to the instructor
but also the ability
to communicate clearly and concisely
during class discussions.
Are you able to handle
delayed feedback?
In an online class, e-mail replies may take a few
hours or even a few days.
You will need
• to be self-motivated
• to have good time management skills
• to be self-disciplined
• to have daily access to the Internet
Are you aware of the two major
myths regarding online classes?
Myth #1: Since you will not have the same
attendance requirements as an
on-ground class, online classes will
take less time.
Myth #2: Online classes are easier than
regular on-ground classes. NOT!!!!!
Are you tolerant
of electronic challenges?
Online classes come with their own set of technical
Are you able to deal with
• computer crashes
• Internet connection breakdowns
with the minimum amount of stress?
Do you consider yourself
technologically savvy?
Can you
manage emails,
cut and paste to Word documents,
send file attachments,
conduct web searches,
and learn to use course management software?
Do you have the basic computer
hardware requirements?
Typical needs will include a computer with:
• Internet and email access
• a Web browser such as Netscape 5.0 or Explorer 5.0
or higher
• JavaScript and Cookies enabled
• High speed modem – 56K minimum
• Active e-mail address
• Windows 98, 2000, XP or MAC OS 8.6 or higher
• 64 MB of Ram
• 1 G of free disk space
Do you have the basic software
you will need?
The most often required software includes:
• Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
• Adobe Acrobat Reader 4 or higher
• Quicktime, Flash, or other plug-ins for playing
media files may also be required for some
Do you have a good anti-virus
program on your computer?
Don’t think this won’t happen to you!!!!
So, you might ask yourself,
WHAT ARE the benefits
of online classes?
A few benefits include:
•Convenience (work just about whenever you
• Fewer time constraints (take as long as you
need to absorb class lectures)
• No travel time to and from school
• Allows greater comfort (work
wherever and wearing whatever you
More Benefits:
• May eliminate course time conflicts
• Provides an excellent learning environment for
visual learners
• Removes many biases and prejudices present in
face-to-face communication
• Gives the chance to review
discussion responses
before posting them
And a little advice from
some online students:
It is not easier than a regular class.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get through it.
 Do not take it [an online class] if you think that
it is an easy A.
 You need several uninterrupted hours each day and you
need to be motivated to get what you want out of the class.
 [An online class] is time consuming but in the end
it equals out to the time spent in a classroom.
And the final piece of advice from
an online student . . .
“If you're not up to the responsibility
and the self-discipline,
take the class on-campus.”