Are you ready? Sure you are!

Image of students using technology to communicate with peers and instructor

Illustration © Division of Continuing Studies, University of Victoria


How well will distance learning online fit with your personal and professional life? Here’s some advice to help you decide.

You’ll need regular access to a computer and the Internet

Without access you won’t be able to be a distance learner online.

You’ll be using email and browsing the Web frequently

Online distance learning requires you to access your course on a regular basis. Most UVic distance students are “online” in their courses several times a week. This can include working alone or with classmates on assignments, participating in discussions or group projects, and initiating and responding to e-mail.

You’ll be communicating frequently in writing

You’ll be having discussions in writing with other students and with your instructors. You may also have group assignments, which you will do mostly in writing with other students. As well, most of your communication with your instructor (e.g., if you need to ask for clarification on something) will be done in writing. So you have to feel OK about communicating in writing or an online class will be a real problem.

You’ll be listening to audio and watching video on the Web

In our online courses, you may find yourself listening audio instructional segments and watching instructors explain concepts in a video online. You may also find yourself participating in live web conference sessions using your computer’s microphone and speakers.

You’ll need to be willing to “speak up” if problems arise

Many of the non-verbal communication signals that instructors rely on in the classroom to determine if students are having problems (confusion, frustration, boredom, absence, etc.) are not available to them in the online distance environment. If you are experiencing difficulty on any level (either with the course technology or with the course content), you need to communicate this immediately. Contact the Onlinehelp Desk if you need help with technical problems and contact your instructor if you have questions about the course.

You’ll be spending 8-12 hours per week on your course

Almost all UVic distance courses require between 8 and 12 hours per week study time. While this may seem like a sizeable time commitment, students find that they are usually able to fit this requirement into their lives by setting flexible study schedules. Our students also say that to be successful at managing a distance course online you have to be self-motivated and self-disciplined.

Online courses require different time management skills than classroom courses. Here are some tips on Managing Your Time from the For Students section.

If you have any questions about whether you are ready to learn online, talk to the contact person from the program you are interested in:

 

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