Click here for Online Fee Disclosures

Is Online Learning Right For Me? 

Click "Test Today" icon to take the Free Readiness Test

NOTE:  This self-assessment is being brought to you by the express permission of the
University of Houston.  * The ToOLS (Test of Online Learning Success) self-assessment test was created by
Dr. Marcel S. Kerr and Dr. Marcus C. Kerr of Texas Wesleyan University, and Dr. Kimberly Rynearson of Tarleton State University. 
 


What is Required When Taking an Online Class: 

Taking an online means that you access 100% of your course materials, directions, information, materials, lectures, assignments, textbook and other information (including labs) online.  No class meetings are held on campus; they are held online via our Learning Management System called, Blackboard.  Classes begin Day 1.  Students enrolled in online courses must login the class and begin the work which is spread out in weekly units (beginning the first day of class to the end).  The time spent within an online class is concentrated and equal to the amount of time you would spend in a regular class, and sometimes exceeds the time.  Make no mistake--taking an online class is time consuming and requires much commitment from the student in order to pass.  In order to ensure rigor is upheld and students enrolled in distance education courses are legitimate students, major tests,  including the mid-term and final exams, are proctored online (and identities are verified).  Proctored means that someone (via your computer set-up) will watch you take both exams in an online "live" proctored environment mimicking an in class environment.  Students enrolling in an online class should have the following characteristics:  1. strong technical skills; 2. strong communication skills; 3. patience with technology; 4. self-directed; 5. self-motivated; 6. self-starters; 7. organized; 8. effective planners; 9. effective readers; 10. good at following written directions; 11. good time managers; 12.sound technically; and 13. likes learning new technologies.


What Materials Would I Need to Take an Online Course?  

  • Personal Computer or Laptop (NOT an iPad)
  • Internet access
  • Portable (attachable) camera for two proctored exams (built-in camera within a computer is not sufficient).  Your camera MUST be attachable/detachable.  Can be purchased in the bookstore or at any major retailer like Walmart, Target, etc..
  • Audio Headset with microphone.  Can be purchased in the bookstore or at any major retailer like Walmart, Target, etc....
  • Your eTextbook  or Textbook (that aligns with the class)
  • Any other additional support or software required for the class (as outlined in the syllabus) 


Still Unsure?  Take this Self Assessment  READINESS TEST (published by the University of Houston) to See if Online Learning is for You

As online learning may not be for everyone, the following Online Learner Self Assessment may help you decide if online learning is a good fit with your learning style, schedule, and technology skills.  

Click on the icon below to take your self-assessment.  Find out your score which indicates your readiness to take an online course.

  
NOTE:  This self-assessment is being brought to you by the express permission of the University of Houston.  


Are There Fees Associated with Taking an Online Course?

Yes.  There are specific and additional fees associated with online courses.   These fees include testing ($50 per course) and some etextbook fees.(in some select courses).  For more information about fees, click here.


 

Still Unsure?  Consider these Questions: 

 

Are You a Self-Starter?

It's different when there are no required class meetings or scheduled contact with your classmates and instructor. You have to be responsible for following the schedule recommended by the instructor. You have to assume more responsibility for your learning (i.e., contacting your instructor, reading and reviewing, participating in assignments, etc...)

Think about your past experiences in school. Were you in class every day unless there was a very good reason why you couldn’t be? Did you regularly contribute to discussions and ask questions? Did you connect with the material on a personal or professional level? If so, you probably have the motivation to be a good distance student. 

How Do You Learn Best?

Distance learning is a good choice for people who are good at learning independently. Some of us also have a strong preference for either auditory, visual or hands-on learning.  Two-way interactive television classes have about the same balance of visual to auditory learning as a traditional face-to-face class. Online courses, however, require you to be a good visual learner because you will do a lot of reading and writing.  

Are You Comfortable with Technology?

Students taking interactive instructional television courses should be comfortable talking into a microphone, seeing themselves on a monitor screen and talking to the instructor on the phone, if needed.
Most of our online courses require you to communicate through email and discussion boards, submit assignments electronically and access various websites. 

Are You Self-Motivated?

The importance of self-motivation depends on the delivery method of the course. Two-way interactive television, for example, offers you regular meeting dates and times with the opportunity to have real-time discussions with your classmates and instructor. That regular contact can keep you going the same way it would in a traditional classroom. It's different when there are no required class meetings or scheduled contact with your classmates and instructor. You have to be responsible for following the schedule recommended by the instructor. You have to assume more responsibility for your learning (i.e., contacting your instructor, reading and reviewing, participating in assignments, etc...). Think about your past experiences in school. Were you in class every day unless there was a very good reason why you couldn’t be? Did you regularly contribute to discussions and ask questions? Did you connect with the material on a personal or professional level? If so, you probably have the motivation to be a good distance student. Distance learning is a good choice for people who are good at learning independently. Some of us also have a strong preference for either auditory, visual or hands-on learning. Two-way interactive television classes have about the same balance of visual to auditory learning as a traditional face-to-face class. Online courses, however, require you to be a good visual learner because you will do a lot of reading and writing. Students taking interactive instructional television courses should be comfortable talking into a microphone, seeing themselves on a monitor screen and talking to the instructor on the phone, if needed. All of our online courses require you to communicate through email and discussion boards, submit assignments electronically and access various websites.