Online classes are made for the general computer user and are designed to feature a streamlined, user-friendly format. Overall, there are only three areas of computer knowledge that you’ll have to know and understand as you prepare for your first online course.
What You Should Know Before You Start:
- Have a general knowledge of your computer’s operating system and its word-processing capabilities. You’ll most likely be doing a lot of writing for your courses, so you should know the basics of your word processor and practice your typing skills. Some degree programs may require you to have other computer-processing abilities, such as knowledge of spreadsheet programs. For example, if you’re enrolled in a course on graphic design, you should know about design programs.
- Have something faster than dial-up Internet, since you will get most of your course information and complete tests and assignments online. Dial-up is too slow to handle online learning. Instead, use a cable model for faster connection speed as you watch videos and lectures, participate in online chats, and download materials. Also, have a backup plan in place in case your Internet goes out, such as a friend’s house where you can use their Internet or a cafe with Wi-Fi.
- Master online interaction. Visit web forums, chat online with friends, and visit social media sites for practice and for communicating professionally and clearly online.
Good online colleges offer technical support and tutorials for using their particular online portals for coursework, exams and class participation. These should be available to you 24/7.