For the next class you attend, skip the pen, notebook and white board and opt for the laptop instead. Taking classes online can be more convenient for you, and it can allow you to connect with your classmates and instructors without having to share the same physical space. Being successful in an online course does require certain computer skills to make sure you can participate in discussions, complete assignments and take tests without getting hung up on a technical glitch.
If you are thinking about taking classes online, here are four skills that you will need to know as a student.
- Basic computer skills. Put simply, you cannot take an online course without a computer, so therefore you must be able to operate said computer. The course may encompass the use of email, video conferencing, digital chat applications, word processing programs and general internet uses. You will not only need access to a computer, but also to a high-speed, reliable internet connection.
- Online communication skills. Communicating online can sometimes be entirely different than talking face-to-face. The way we interpret typed text is distinct from seeing a person’s expressions, inflection and tone of voice as he or she speaks aloud. This internet etiquette has been dubbed “netiquette,” and includes things like avoiding sarcasm (which doesn’t translate well online), typing in complete sentences and being clear and concise with what you are trying to convey.
- Search engine skills. Sifting through the sea of information on the internet and discerning the reliable sources from the unreliable sources is key for a student taking an online course. Beyond just your everyday Googling, you’ll need to know how to use a variety of search tools to seek out reputable sites for information you will need when supporting your ideas during group discussions, writing papers and completing projects. Library databases are one great resource for making sure the information you are looking up is credible.
- Time management skills. Because for the most part with an online course you have the ability to plan when you will do your work, time management skills are an essential part of making sure you do not fall behind. You will have to set aside time to spend on your online courses aside from work, family obligations and personal time and make sure you stick to that schedule. Do not let procrastination get the better of you just because your hours are more flexible.
The benefits of taking an online course not only include convenience, but also the ability to work in the comfort of your own home or office. At the University of West Alabama Online, we offer non-credit continuing education courses for the purpose of advancing one’s career, pursing a personal interest or learning for learning’s sake. Check out our course offerings and register for classes by visiting https://uwa.augusoft.net/!