Maybe you’ve been thinking about taking an online course, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
Am I comfortable on the computer and on the Internet?
This doesn’t mean being able to hack into the Pentagon, but your learning will rely heavily on Web research, so you need to be familiar with search engines and locating information online.
Do I have time to commit to an online course?
What makes online courses so attractive is their flexibility — you can do the work on your lunch break or while laying in a hammock in the backyard — but they do require a substantial time commitment, sometimes as much as 10-12 hours a week.
Am I a good manager of my time?
That oh-so-appealing flexibility also makes it easy to procrastinate. Just like in a traditional course, doing well in an online class requires the discipline to stay on top of the work.
Am I a self-motivated student?
With online courses, you’ll have an instructor to guide you, but you won’t have regular lectures to tell you everything you need to know. A lot of your learning will be on your own.
Still not sure?
One common piece of advice is to start by taking a short elective. This will introduce you to online learning but without requiring a major commitment of time and energy. See how you like it, and if it works for you, then dive in!