For some students, part of the excitement that coincides with the “back to school” time of year is getting to go shopping for new school supplies—from books and binders to pens and paper. The appeal is starting the school year fresh with a new arsenal of tools in tow. For eLearning, which relates to courses, discussions, assignments and tests happening all online, having the right equipment is equally—and perhaps even more—critical to completing a class successfully. The equipment you will need for eLearning goes beyond what you need for a class you attend on campus, but as long as you have these basic hardware and software tools on hand, you should be in a good position to thrive in an eLearning environment.
Add these items to the list of the equipment you will need for eLearning!
- Current computer. It is recommended that you have a computer that was purchased within the last seven or eight years to make sure that you have sufficient memory and computer processing speed.
- Updated operating system. An up-to-date operating system is a requirement for your computer to be able to run the necessary programs for eLearning. You do not necessarily have to have the latest operating system for Windows or Mac, but if it is not the most recent, make sure it is not too far outdated.
- Email address. Most people likely already have a personal Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail account that can be used for eLearning. If you do not, setting one up is completely free.
- Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Office suite includes Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, which will allow you to produce documents and spreadsheets, respectively. You may also use Microsoft PowerPoint for creating presentations and Microsoft Publisher for creative projects.
- Media player/flash player. Programs like Windows Media Player, QuickTime and Flash are necessary for streaming videos, which will likely be included in your instructional content. These are typically free and easy to download.
- Speakers/headset. These tools are required for communication among yourself, your instructor and your classmates. You may also need a microphone to participate in audio chats and/or to record audio files.
- Having a printer at home or in your personal work space is a convenience that will prevent you from having to visit the library to print something, which would defeat the point of eLearning in the first place.
These are just a few of the basic pieces of equipment you will need for eLearning, but you may also be required to acquire software programs that are specific to the course material. Your course instructor will give you a list of necessary supplies and should be able to answer questions about whether or not your current computer and operating systems will be adequate.
Are you interested in eLearning through UWA Online? Browse our course selection and register for continuing education eLearning classes at https://uwa.augusoft.net/!