Is Online Learning Right for Me?
Online learning is quite different than learning in a traditional classroom setting. Online courses require you to think differently about how you collaborate with faculty and student colleagues, complete assignments and tests, and most importantly, study and learn. The ultimate goal remains the same - to maximize your learning experience in a manner that satisfies your education needs.
Online learning is not for everyone, and LTU offers traditional, hybrid, and online classes because we know that each student learns differently. To be successful as an online student, you must possess strong time management and organizational skills, enjoy learning independently as well as with others, work effectively with technology, and communicate effectively in writing. Check out the questions below to find out if online learning is right for you.
1. Do I have the need and desire to learn more?
You are interested in advancing your career, but you live too far away to drive in every day to classes. With online courses, you don't have to - you may take classes from home.
2. Do I have the time?
You are a busy individual with many different responsibilities. Your schedule conflicts with on-ground course schedules. With online courses, you are flexible with what time you learn. You need to have available time and be willing to devote a significant amount of it each week to your online studies.
3. Am I self-directed?
You are a self-directed individual and you are interested in finding out more about a particular field of study. Online courses require more responsibility for your own learning as compared to on-ground courses. This includes things such as being unafraid to ask questions and taking initiative to individually look up answers. It also includes jumping in to help your fellow students when they appear to need help, clarification or elaboration.
4. Do I have self-discipline?
You are good at time management. Online courses require discipline and adequate time on task. Although times when work is completed may vary, consistently putting in the time is required weekly and on average three to four times a week. Many students report that online classes require significantly more time than their on-ground counterparts. This is especially true if they are taking their first online course.
5. Do I have experience with communication skills?
You have experience with utilizing your communication skills to complete individual and group tasks and assignments. Though missing the face-to-face component of communication, online courses rely more on other communication skills such as writing, messaging, and virtual communication skills. What you may miss in spontaneity, you may gain in deeper reflection. It’s important to remember that with online communication, for the most part - facial expression and body language are absent; hence students need to be more explicit in meanings, more detailed in descriptions, and more forgiving in judgements.
6. Do I have technical skills and equipment?
You have experience using the computer with different types of files for basic word processing, browsing, handling of windows, and software appropriate for your discipline. Online courses are currently facilitated through Blackboard, mostly asynchronously however certain aspects such as office hours may be synchronous. An up-to-date computer with a broadband Internet connection are minimum requirements for success in an online course.
If you can answer “Yes” to most of these questions, online learning may be right for you. If not, perhaps we can help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org