Use the following self-assessment to help you determine if you are ready to take an online course through Northwestern State University. This assessment covers both technical as well as learning style considerations.
If you answered "No" to any of the Technical Consideration questions above, you may want to reconsider taking a course online. At the very least, you will have some technology to learn in addition to the curriculum of the course(s) you take, and you should make extra time in your schedule accordingly. All of the skills mentioned above are used in most of our online courses. Technical support is available throughout the semester; however, in most cases you will be expected to already know how to use the Internet and the tools referenced above.
In the Learning Style Consideration questions, being able to answer the questions affirmatively is a good indicator that you are well suited to the online classroom environment. If your answers lean more toward the statements/questions in parentheses (in italic letters, above), then you may find the online learning environment less satisfying. Most of our online courses make use of a classroom discussion list which allows interaction between students and instructors as well as between students. However, email based interaction can be less satisfying than face-to-face communication for some learners.
The online classroom requires you to structure your own schedule, balancing your time around the assignments/requirements of the class. Without the need to show up in a particular place at a designated time each week, some learners find it all too easy to put work off until the last minute. Much of the material covered in a typical online class will require you to learn from reading. This may include textbooks, Internet-based materials and written "lectures" or notes from your instructor.
This self-assessment has been created to help you decide if online learning is for you. It can serve as an indicator but not as a definitive answer.
To help you make the right decision about enrolling in an online course, the Louisiana CALL program has provided the Student Online Readiness Tool (SORT). This tool permits you to rate yourself in six topic areas closely related to a student's success in the online learning environment. Each section has a brief description followed by a questionnaire. Based on your responses to questions, feedback is provided on your personal readiness profile, along with suggested strategies for success and links to more information.
If you have any questions about taking a course online, please contact Electronic & Continuing Education at (318) 357-6355. We are here to assist you. If you have any questions about a particular course, please contact the instructor.