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Things to think about before enrolling in an online course

To be successful in an online class, a student should have the following characteristics (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, Zvacek, 2012, p. 223 – 239) : 

  1. General ability – In an online class, a student “assume{s} more responsibility for their own learning earlier in the process than do those students who are enrolled in traditional classes” (p. 225). 
  2. Communication – A student must understand how to communicate in synchronous and asynchronous learning.  Synchronous learning requires the student and the instructor to be online at the same time for lectures, webinars or presentations.  Asynchronous learning allows the student to complete the required assessments in a given timeframe. 
  3. Technical Skill – A student needs to know how to post and respond to discussion boards in Moodle, upload assignments into Moodle, use webinar software, send emails with attachments, use Microsoft Office, create presentations, etc.. 
  4. Responsibility – If a student has a question about course content or a technical issue, the student must contact the instructor immediately.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor. The instructor can not foresee issues. 
  5. Time Management Skills – A student must be able to balance his or her personal life with her or her education life. 


Simonson, Michael, Smaldino, Sharon, Albright, Michael, and Zvackek, Susan.  (2012).  Teaching and Learning at a Distance, 5th edition.  Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson. 



Distance Learning Department
(704) 978-1304 

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(704) 978-5493