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Are You Ready for Online Classes?

What it Takes to be an Online Student

You Must be an Independent Learner and a Self-Motivated Student

Taking an online course requires that you be an independent learner. What does this mean? Taking an online course is not like taking a traditional classroom course. It requires different characteristics in order to be successful. If you fit the following characteristics, you probably qualify.

  • Distance learning is self-paced learning which increases your responsibility for completing your courses in a timely manner
  • The distant learner demonstrates initiative in enrolling in courses and completing lessons.
  • Distant learners are self-motivated, that is they are enthusiastic about their studies despite the absence of reminders from instructors.
  • Distant learners are self-disciplined so that they can complete the work based upon the own desire to complete the lessons and courses in a timely manner.
  • Distant learners are able to independently identify and resolve problems without relying on others for structure and direction.
  • Distant learners are persistent in meeting a self-imposed schedule for completing lessons despite the distraction of work, family, and other obligations.

    For Immediate feedback, take the Online Assessment Quiz

The Pros and Cons of Online Education

You've just read that online education requires a lot of motivation and self-discipline. If you aren't scared off by this, then you may be wondering what benefits you will derive from taking an online course.

  • Distant learners do not work under the usual constrains of time and location. Within reason, it is "anytime, anyplace" education.
  • You can earn college credit without leaving your job.
  • A self-paced schedule allows you to take as much time as needed to absorb the material.
  • By meeting the challenge of independent study with motivation and self-discipline, you will be rewarded with success as well as a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction.

On the other hand, being a distance learner may have a down side, depending upon one's perspective.

  • Distance learning requires more time than a traditional class because of the reading and homework activities required to complete the course. One should expect to spend at least 2 hours a week for every credit hour of the course- at a minimum.
  • Many students do not complete online courses because they do not assure themselves of their readiness for taking such a course. This might be a good time to go to the Student Readiness Survey to test your readiness.
  • It is easy to give in to distractions. Distractions of everyday life can mean that you work late at night, or get up early to complete course lessons and assignments.
Contact Information
(507) 285-7210 or 1‑800‑247‑1296
Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Ave SE :: Rochester, MN 55904-4999
Rochester Community and Technical College, a member of Minnesota State.
RCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.
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