Is Online Learning For You?

This short course will present information about successful online learning. You can answer some questions to determine if online professional development is right for you. 

What is online professional development?

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What makes a successful online learner?

A characteristic of success online learners is persistence.

Overcoming Challenges

Learning online means there will be challenges - technical difficulties or need for help to navigate your learning. A successful online learner continues to work through the challenges and problem solves to get around any issues that arise. 

Dedicate Time

In order to be successful in an online learning environment, you need to set time aside to complete the required weekly activities. There is no set class time, so you must develop your own schedule and stick to it. 

Do you have persistence?

  • When I face a challenge, I continue to try and find a way to overcome it.
  • I am often distracted when I am working online (checking Facebook, Twitter).

A characteristic of successful online learners is the ability to communicate.

Communication online has unique qualities

Can you communicate well in writing?

Writing to Communicate is Essential

Facilitated online learning uses multiple strategies to present information. One strategy used to help learners reflect is a discussion forum. In a discussion forum, you will write reflections in response to some content that you are learning. You will respond to your peers as well. 

You will need to write in a professional manner. Using good Netiquette skills is important to maintain a positive online community. 

Appropriate technology is an important support for online learning.

The Right Tools

You wouldn't attend a face-to-face learning experience without a paper and pencil or a computer or tablet to take notes, would you? In the same way, having the right online tools will provide the best opportunity for your success in online learning. 

Do you have access to appropriate technology?

Hardware and software

onlineIMPACT is an online classroom for professional development.  Unless otherwise indicated by the course facilitator, all activity and interaction happens online.  You will need a reliable computer or tablet to access the workshops. You will need to have up-to-date versions of the web browser you use. Having the right equipment is a huge support for online learning. 

Internet access

Dial up internet access is not recommended for participation in onlineIMPACT workshops. You will need access to high speed internet to view videos and download materials. If you don't have access to high speed internet, you may become frustrated when trying to complete tasks. 

Using basic technology

  • I am comfortable using basic technology like word processing and web browsing.
  • I avoid using technology.

Know where to find help

  • When I have a problem with technology, I know where to get help.
  • When I have a problem with technology, I give up and do something else.

A characteristic of successful online learners is time management.

How effectively do you manage time?

Time management is a key skill when learning online. There is not a set date or time that you have to "attend" but rather the ability to work when you choose.