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Online and hybrid courses have become a common part of the college experience. They offer flexibility and convenience, and they can work well for organized, computer-savvy, highly-motivated students who do not procrastinate. However, online courses are not always a good fit for everyone, especially not people who like the structure of regular classroom meetings.
Students sometimes mistakenly believe that an online course will be less work than a course on campus. In fact, both require the same amount of effort. Some students find that online courses actually require more work because it takes more time to absorb lecture material online than it does in the classroom.
Are online courses a good choice for you? Take this self-assessment to help you decide. You should also talk with your college counselor before taking an online course. Call 575-6080 to schedule an appointment.
Which of the following statements best describes you?
Successful online students already spend a lot of time online, and they really like it.
You may be successful online if you have a high level of motivation. It’s difficult if you don’t have your own computer and a quiet place to use it whenever you want. Check your motivation levels carefully before committing to an online class.
Being successful online requires lots of time online. If you’re skeptical about what computers can do for you, you should probably take the course in person if at all possible.
When it comes to trying new things online,
Successful online students overcome technology challenges.
You can be successful online only if you learn to overcome frustration. If you walk away and come back later with a solution, you can be successful. However, if this happens too often, online courses may not be a good fit for you.
Usually, people who are successful online students are the ones who help other people with computer problems. They are not the ones receiving help. Proceed with caution when it comes to taking an online class.
How do you usually access the internet?
Great! Online courses mostly require desktop computers to be successful. You should be all set.
Handheld devices can work for some online learning, but most of what happens in an online course still requires a desktop computer and monitor. If you have a smartphone but have to share a computer or have an older model computer, it may be too difficult to succeed in an online class.
It’s almost impossible to get the most out of an online course if you don’t have your own computer. Deadlines and other challenges will get in your way--unless you have an extremely high level of motivation. Be honest with yourself when you think about your options.
When it comes to communicating and discussing issues with other people using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat,
That’s good because a large part of most online classes involves using the discussion board and sharing thoughts with other students whom you may not know very well. You should have no problem with this part of online courses.
Your willingness to try is a good sign for success. However, if you have not really used social media, you may not have enough experience in the online world to be successful in an online course. Proceed with caution.
A large part of most online courses is the discussion board where you will be asked to share ideas with other students in the class. Most students will have a picture of themselves as well, although this is usually not required. Are you really prepared to share your ideas with your online classmates? Be honest with yourself about this before signing up for an online class.
How many of these terms would you need to look up if someone asked you what they meant? bandwidth, cable modem, DSL, PDF file, App vs. Program, USB port, “The Cloud,” HTML, WYSIWYG, Wiki, URL, User Name, Server, Public Domain, Netiquette, jpg, button bar
You’re a computer expert! Successful online students tend to understand terms like these.
You know many of the terms, but being successful online usually requires more computer knowledge.
You may not understand enough about computers yet to be successful in an online class. Being successful requires a kind of online fluency. Consider learning more about computer technology before signing up to take an online class.
When a big assignment is due in a few weeks,
Online classes can be more difficult because you have to work on your own and set your own deadlines. Your instructor is not always there to remind you. Being organized and planning ahead is essential to success in an online class.
Sometimes this style can work in an online class, but it backfires when life takes unexpected twists and turns. It is far better to complete assignments in advance even if you think you will have time later.
If, deep down, you know you’re like this, avoid online classes. The academic online world is a procrastinator’s nightmare. The work can quickly become overwhelming. You have to be your own boss because your instructor will not be there to remind (nag?) you. Don’t set yourself up for failure; take a face-to-face course instead.
I do most of my schoolwork and studying
This is the best scenario for academic success, online or not. It’s even more important online though because online students do not go to class every week with other people who are all focused on the same material at the same time. Online students need extended periods of quiet study to absorb the course content.
Most research indicates that successful students have a dedicated place where they can study for long periods of time without interruption. However, studying in several places can work if the student is disciplined and does not confuse social time with study time.
While busy lives can make this kind of studying the only option, it is not normally a style that leads to success. More often, the opposite is true. If your life is so busy that you only have a few minutes to study here and there, when will you have time to complete the large projects and assignments that are part of every online course? Proceed with extreme caution before registering.
When things get difficult, I
Technology often can be frustrating. In virtually every online course, there will be times when something doesn’t work the way it should. If you’re not prepared to deal with obstacles in online classes, that environment probably won’t be a good fit for you.
In an on-campus course, when students begin to stop submitting assignments and pull back because they don’t understand, the instructor can usually see by the look on a person’s face that they need help. That cue does not exist online. It is essential for students to reach out for help when they run into problems. Online students have to be brave enough to ask for help. Are you?
Successful online students approach problems as learning experiences. The answers are out there--the game is finding them.
Which of the following best describes you?
Excellent! You’re in a great position to succeed in an online class. You are also lucky, because few of us have this kind of steady schedule. Don’t waste this opportunity (because it likely won’t last forever).
If you have this kind of life, you can only succeed online if you have a high level of motivation. Consider talking with your family and employer and trying to get their support before you commit to an online class. If they know how important college is to you, they are more likely to help you with the steady schedule and the support you will need to be successful.
Students in this situation are the most vulnerable to dropping out of online courses. You really will need significant blocks of time to be successful. Very few people can focus on academic material after a full day of work, when they are exhausted. Be realistic about the quality of time needed for success. High motivation levels will be needed if you are in this situation.
I am someone who
Successful online students are able to concentrate on material some people might call “boring.” Without a live instructor in the classroom, online material sometimes requires extra focus. If you need more “action,” consider a face-to-face course.
Although some online courses are interactive, most online courses require more independent learning than face-to-face courses. Expect that you will be doing most of your learning alone. If this is not a good fit for your personality, try to take a face-to-face course instead.
Successful online students tend to be a little compulsive. They are often list writers who keep calendars and obsess about staying on schedule and meeting deadlines. If you have a little (or a lot!) of this in you, online courses are likely a good fit.
In the following paragraph, the speaker talks about purchasing some farmland. After you read it, answer the five questions below.
My imagination carried me so far that I even had the refusal of several farms — the
refusal was all I wanted — but I never got my fingers burned by actual possession.
The nearest that I came to actual possession was when I bought the Hollowell place,
and had begun to sort my seeds, and collected materials with which to make a wheelbarrow
to carry it on or off with; but before the owner gave me a deed of it, his wife —
every man has such a wife — changed her mind and wished to keep it, and he offered
me ten dollars to release him. Now, to speak the truth, I had but ten cents in the
world, and it surpassed my arithmetic to tell, if I was that man who had ten cents,
or who had a farm, or ten dollars, or all together. However, I let him keep the ten
dollars and the farm too, for I had carried it far enough; or rather, to be generous,
I sold him the farm for just what I gave for it, and, as he was not a rich man, made
him a present of ten dollars, and still had my ten cents, and seeds, and materials
for a wheelbarrow left. I found thus that I had been a rich man without any damage
to my poverty. But I retained the landscape, and I have since annually carried off
what it yielded without a wheelbarrow.
- Henry David Thoreau, from Walden (1854)
Answers to the reading questions cannot be changed once you click on them.
The speaker originally planned to
The speaker feels
The farmer’s wife
I feel like it took me a reasonable amount of time to read the above paragraph. I feel like I understand what it the writer is saying, and I am fairly confident I answered the questions about the paragraph accurately.
Great! If you didn’t have much difficulty understanding this paragraph, you should be able to understand the directions and other reading content you will likely face in online courses.
College-level reading can sometimes demand more concentration than new students are used to. If you struggled a bit with this paragraph, you can still be successful if you possess other attributes of successful online students, particularly motivation.
Online courses require lots of reading. You will face complex directions to difficult assignments. You will most likely need to read academic textbooks and other college-level material. If reading this paragraph and taking this quiz caused you lots of anxiety, consider a face-to-face course where you can work on reading and other skills that will help you be successful before taking an online course.
Online students need to know how to type at least twenty words per minute (without looking at the keys!) in order to give themselves the best chance for success. You will be typing in discussion boards and email, and in tests where there are short-answer and essay questions. There will probably be essays to write and submit online. Typing is a big part of every online class.
Check your speed here: www.typingtest.com.
Probably not fast enough to be successful in an online class.
It may be difficult, but this speed may be enough to be successful.
You type fast enough to be successful in an online class.
You’re a fast typist! Your typing skills will help you be successful.
Results will appear here when you finish. If you don't see your results, check to make sure you have answered every question.
Your answers indicate that you are highly likely to be successful in an online course. You possess the tools necessary for a positive experience online. However, your score alone is not a guarantee of how well you will do in any given online class. Experiences can vary widely based on a number of complex factors. If you are not sure or would like to discuss your options, please make an appointment to see an MJC counselor.
Your answers indicate that you are likely to be successful in an online course. You possess most of the tools necessary for a positive experience online. However, your score alone is not a guarantee of how well you will do in any given online class. Experiences can vary widely based on a number of complex factors. If you are not sure or would like to discuss your options, please make an appointment to see an MJC counselor.
Your answers indicate that you may be successful in an online course. You possess several of the tools necessary for a positive experience online. However, your score alone is not a guarantee of how well you will do in any given online class. Experiences can vary widely based on a number of complex factors. If you are not sure or would like to discuss your options, please make an appointment to see an MJC counselor.
Your answers indicate that you are not yet a good candidate for an online course. According to your responses, you do not yet possess the tools necessary for a positive experience online. Consider face-to-face courses as a better option. Students can also take Guidance 120--Success Strategies for Transfer Students (See this course in the MJC Catalog), a three-unit course designed to help students prepare for the demands of college. If you are not sure or would like to discuss your options, please make an appointment to see an MJC counselor.