Online learning provides many opportunities and offers some unique challenges. With online learning you have the chance to pursue a degree without attending courses on a physical campus. Access to course materials is available via the Internet 24/7, so you can often work on your studies at times and in places that are most convenient for you.
Because online learning is technology-mediated you need to be comfortable with navigating the technology landscape, from using the Internet to access course materials and communicate with faculty and fellow students, to composing word processed documents, developing presentations, and conducting research via library databases and Web sites.
Since there are few or no face-to-face class meetings, special care must be taken to establish relationships with your fellow students and faculty in order to build a supportive learning community in the online environment. You’ll also find that you need to be self-directed and responsible for your own success.
Below are questions for you to consider and resources designed to help you make the most of your online learning experience.
Online Learning Environments
Have you ever taken a college credit course that met fewer than 2 times face-to-face or required accessing materials and content online to complete assignments?
Do you have dedicated work space for your coursework that is private and will be free of interruptions?
Course Management Systems
Have you ever used a course management system (ex. Blackboard Learn, Moodle, Desire2Learn)?
Communication & Collaboration
Have you used an online discussion board or instant messaging?
Do you have experience installing Plug-ins?
You’ll be expected to use word processing, e.g. Microsoft Word, and presentation, e.g. Microsoft PowerPoint, software to complete course assignments.
Are you proficient with word processing software (ex. Word, WordPerfect)?
Are you proficient with presentation software (ex. PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi)?
Whether through the resources available from the UT Libraries or the Internet at large, you’ll be expected to conduct searches on relevant course topics.
Are you familiar with the research resources available through the UT Libraries?
Are you comfortable with using search tools and evaluating information you locate?