Online Tech Assessment

Is taking an online class a good fit for you?

Learning through an online class requires different skills than learning in a face-to-face class. It's important to know what you're getting into and to understand the kind of commitment that's necessary for success in online learning. You can get a good idea of your readiness for online learning by filling out the following assessment.

This assessment is for informational purposes only and is not required for enrollment. For additional help figuring out whether an online class is a worthwhile option for you, consult with your academic advisor.

Instructions: For each row in the table below, click the radio button that best describes you. When you are finished, read the guidelines for interpreting the score.

Answers that indicate an online course is a good choice.   Weight   Answers that indicate an online class may not be a good choice at this time.
I am comfortable and proficient at creating, saving, locating and opening different types of files on a computer. 2 I am not comfortable or proficient working with files on a computer.
I have access to a reliable high-speed Internet connection. (DSL, cable, etc) 2 I have regular access only to a dial-up modem for Internet access or no Internet at all.
I am aware MCC provides student email and will check frequently for official communication. 1 I am not in the habit of checking my email regularly.
I have access to a webcam, microphone and speakers or can purchase them for multimedia participation. 1 I do not have a webcam, microphone and speakers.
I have no problem retaining information if I read it. 2 I retain information better if I hear it spoken directly to me.
I understand viruses and malware can hinder computer functions and thereby interfere with taking online classes. I have up to date antivirus and malware protection. 1 I am unsure if my computer has antivirus or malware protection.
I have used multiple browsers to access online content. (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Edge) 1 I only have/use one browser.
I am very good at planning /managing my time and staying focused so that my work is on time and complete 4 I tend to procrastinate and can easily get distracted while studying, needing a lot of time to accomplish my work.
I understand technology glitches happen and have a backup plan in case my computer and internet fail. 2 I don't have alternative computer or internet options.
I have consistent access to a newer computer and can install any additional software necessary for a course. 2 I am going to use my phone for my online classes.
Setting aside a regular 5-8 hours per week for each online class is possible for me. 3 It's hard to predict when I can devote time for my online classwork. Can't I do the work whenever for my online class?
I am skilled at using word processing software to complete my coursework. (Example: Microsoft Word) 3 I am unfamiliar with using word processing software.
I am comfortable learning through self-study but can also learn from: lectures, videos, podcasts and online discussions. 3 I usually need direct explanation by an instructor and face-to-face interaction with peers to feel comfortable learning material.
I am good at navigating online websites and uploading and downloading content. 2 I rarely navigate online websites or find the internet frustrating.
Online is good choice ⇐
 
Total
 
⇒ Online may not be a good choice

Interpreting the Results

A total score of 14 or higher in the right-hand column is a strong indication that you will likely face more challenges than may be desired in an online class. While online may not be the best choice at the moment, if you are still interested in being an online student, you should understand some of the challenges and what you need to do to overcome them. A page hosted by the Illinois Online Network has some good discussion: What Makes a Successful Online Student.

Questions that are weighted "3" and "4" in the center column address crucial study skills needed for an online class. The most successful online students will have answered all of those questions in the left-hand column (regardless of what their total score happens to be) or will work to address them over the course of the semester.

Questions weighted "1" and "2" are also important for an online class, but many of the topics they address are things that don't automatically block a student's academic success in the class or can be remedied once the class begins.

License

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This material is based on original content by Glenn Pillsbury at Stanislaus State, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at https://www.csustan.edu/teach-online/online-readiness-self-assessment.