As an online student you will have a much different “classroom” experience than a traditional student. In order to ensure that you are fully prepared for your online courses, the following is a list of expectations and requirements: Students in a hybrid and/or on-line program should be comfortable with and possess the following skill sets:
- Problem solving skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Enjoy communication in the written word
As part of your online experience, you can expect to utilize a variety of technology mediums as part of your curriculum:
- You need to have a basic knowledge of computer and Internet skills in order to be successful in an online course.
- Ability to use online communication tools, such as email (create, send, receive, reply, print, send/receive attachments), discussion boards (read, search, post, reply, follow threads), chats, and messengers., application, etc.
- Understanding of basic computer hardware and software; ability to perform computer operations, such as:
- Using keyboard and mouse
- Managing files and folders: save, name, copy, move, backup, rename, delete, check properties
- Using software applications, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email clients to create and edit documents
- Knowledge of copying and pasting, spell-checking, saving files in different formats
- Sending and downloading attachments (saved files)
- Recording video and uploading video files
- Navigate the World Wide Web using a Web browser such as Chrome or Internet Explorer (connecting, accessing, and ability to perform online research using various search engines and library databases.
- Be willing to learn how to communicate using a discussion board and upload assignments to a classroom Web site (Learning Portal)
- Navigate the DAC Learning Portal, including reading and posting to assignments. Video and document instructions and tutorials for this are provided in your course.
For more information or technical assistance on using the Learning Portal, please refer to the DAC website or the home page of your course.
Next let’s take a look at the technical set up you will need to be able to complete this course. As you see, the requirements are basic:
- Laptop or Desktop Computer – you need to be able to watch videos, open pdf files, and complete assignments. Needless to say, for an online course, daily access to a computer is a must.
- Internet Access – a significant amount of course content is delivered via video. Most standard internet connections cope fine with this.
- An Email Account (where you can reliably be reached) – much of our communication with classes is done via email. You need an email account that you can access regularly for the duration of your course.
- Preview or Adobe – since lecture notes and documents come in PDF format, you’ll need one of the programs listed (or a similar alternative). This is an extremely common file type and many computers now come with this software preinstalled.
- Microsoft Word or Google Docs – to complete assignments you need access to word processing software (such as those just mentioned). If you don’t already have a word processing program on your computer, Google Docs is a free and reliable online alternative.
- Access to a Printer – most assignments require a response to a discussion forum. However, a printer will allow you to make hard copies of documents.
In addition to equipment, some people can be a little worried about their “computer literacy” and whether it will stand in the way of successfully completing an online course.
So now let’s think about the technical skills you need.
- Play a Video on YouTube – our course videos are not delivered in this way but if you know how to play and pause a video on YouTube or Vimeo, then you’ll be able to cope with accessing our videos.
- Make/Receive a Skype Call – this is sometimes one of the elements of the application process.
- Write a Document in Word Processing Software – if you’ve ever opened up a blank sheet and written a letter or a CV, for example, you have the skills needed for writing of assignments.
- Basic Internet Research – you will be given all the information you need to complete assignments. But you should also be comfortable with the idea of a basic internet search to perform tasks such as finding out what an abbreviation means.
If you have the basic technical setup required and you can do these common computer-based tasks, you shouldn’t have a bother with completing our courses. If you are in any doubt, contact us to discuss your specific circumstances in more detail. You might also be interested to check out the article “Am I A Good Fit For An Online Course?,” by “GetReskilled.com,” where they look at the personal traits and qualities needed to be a successful online student.