Two girls working on laptops in the summer sun at Marietta College's summer session.

Is Online Learning Right for You?

Are you ready for online learning? Is your learning style compatible with what is needed to be a successful online student?

Online Learners Possess Certain Attributes

  • Work Independently – online learning requires that students study independently although they do not work in isolation.
  • Self-Motivated - as with any learning experience, students who have a drive to learn and achieve will be successful.
  • Reading and Writing Skills - these may be even more important than in the face-to-face classroom; these skills are necessary in order to communicate and engage in online discourse.
  • Time Management - students must effectively manage time for class activities and interaction, reading and responding to "posts" (communications from other students), writing, etc.
  • Time Commitment - while convenient, online does require a real commitment. Many students find the time commitment for an online course to be greater than that required for their face-to-face counterparts.
  • Preparation - like any other course, students need to be prepared. They must meet all course prerequisites, understand the objectives of the course, and have a plan, prepared in advance, to meet those objectives.
  • Comfortable with Technology - while students do not need to be computer experts, they do need to be comfortable working with a computer, an essential online learning tool.
  • Appropriate Equipment - while technology needs vary and are determined by the course requirements, a basic technology " system" is a must. This means you must have easy access to a reliable computer at the very minimum.


See if You are Ready for Online Learning

If you are interested in online learning, your first step should be a self-assessment to see if you are ready. The Student Online Readiness Tool (SORT), devised by the University of Georgia, will provide you with some very valuable feedback that can used in considering whether online learning is for you. It can also help you determine if you have the necessary technology and learner characteristics needed to be successful. The assessments include:

  • Access to Tools
  • Technology Experience
  • Learning Preferences
  • Study Habits
  • Goals and Purposes
  • Lifestyle Factors
  • Personal Characteristics

Need more information?

If you are still unsure about online learning, please contact Linda Roesch, Instructional Technologist, or 740-376-4815 for additional information.

Watch for campus announcements regarding an Introduction to Online Learning course for students offered each spring.