Is Online Learning for me?

Prior to registering for any distance education course, each student should make sure that this method of instruction fits his or her learning style. Some people learn best by interacting face to face with the instructor and other students. To be successful in distance education courses, an online student should be self-motivated and be able to work well independently.

Students who take online courses must possess good computer and Internet skills to be successful. Students should have daily access to a computer (preferably at home) that meets the computer needs requirement. Skills specific to individual courses may also be required; for example, proficiency with a word processing software may be needed for an online English course.

Student Technology Skills

The following computer skills are needed prior to taking online courses through WGTC. Students are responsible for assessing their own skill levels. If a student does not possess these skills, he or she may want to consider taking on-campus classes. Online instructors will not be teaching these skills.

Basic Skills
  • Be familiar with the operating system of the computer being used for class
  • Understand terms such as mouse, drag, open, launch, select, file, choose, double-click, download, upload, send, and so on
  • Save, copy, and find files/folders on external storage and hard drives
  • Download/upload files
Email Skills
  • Send, open, reply to, and forward a message
  • Enter a message subject and body
  • Send an attachment
  • Open and/or save an attachment
Web Browser Skills
  • Go to a specific URL
  • Print a page
  • Follow a hypertext link
  • Conduct a basic search using a search engine
Word Processor Skills
  • Open a new or existing file
  • Save a file
  • Rename a file (Save As)
  • Print a document
  • Download and upload files

Student Readiness Skills

In addition to technology skills, students need to make sure that online course delivery is a good method for them. Some people learn best by interacting face-to-face with the instructor and other students. SmarterMeasure is a self assessment tool that will help you assess your skills and readiness for online learning. It will help you prepare to be successful as a student. SmarterMeasure is not required, but it is recommended for all online students. The SmarterMeasure Assessment takes about 45 minutes to complete and includes seven major assessment components that measure the following skills:

  • Individual Attributes
  • Life Factors
  • Learning Styles
  • Technical Competency
  • Technical Knowledge
  • On-screen Reading Rate and Recall
  • Typing Speed and Accuracy

The scores from the assessment will not prohibit a student from applying for a distance education course. The SmarterMeasure Assessment can be accessed by clicking here. Username is wiregrass, password is wiregrass.