As a distance education student at Slippery Rock University, the majority of the interaction between you and your professor, as well as your fellow students, will take place over the web through the Desire2Learn Learning Management System. In most instances, you will find that your professor will use the Desire2Learn system to post reading assignments, distribute online quizzes and writing assignments, and to host online discussion forums. Since all these activities take place online, successful online students should have the ability to comfortably use e-mail, word processing, and a web browser. Additionally, it is essential that you have access to a reliable Internet connection. If you are unsure whether or not your computer is capable of handing the requirements of online learning, visit our Systems Requirement page.
The majority of online courses at Slippery Rock University are delivered asynchronously. That is, there is no set “class meeting” each week. Typically, a professor will post a reading assignment, lecture notes, and a series of activities at the beginning of each week, and it will be up to each individual student to complete the week’s requirements by a set deadline. Because of this, successful online students will have excellent time management skills and rarely procrastinate. In a typical face-to-face course, you will see your professor three times a week for approximately an hour at a time. However, in an online course, you will not have the real-life presence of your professor, and much of the course progress will be self-paced.
As with any college-level course, strong reading and writing skills are essential. Since classroom discussions are held using an online discussion board, it is important that you be able to articulately express your thoughts in writing. Also, since the majority of online professors use handouts and PowerPoints to replace the face-to-face lecture portion of their course, you will find that an online course requires much more reading than a face-to-face class.
For more information on the must-have traits of online learners, we suggest visit the About.com article “Is Distance Learning Right For You?” http://distancelearn.about.com/od/isitforyou/a/considering.htm
Below are some interactive quizzes that you can take to further assess your readiness for enrolling in an online course.
Prince George’s Community College Distance Learning Assessment:
Peterson’s Planner – Choosing an Ideal Learning Environment
Old Dominion University – Distance Learning Self-Quiz