Online Learning

Is Online Learning Right for You?

Before you enroll in an online class, it is a good idea to check to make sure online learning is really right for you. It is important to know your own learning needs and preferences.

Think about your:

  • learning goals
  • preferred learning style
  • preferred learning location
  • technology expertise
  • access to online tools
  • study habits
  • time management skills

woman holding coffee cup that reads the adventure begins

Take this free online self-assessment (Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike) from Penn State University to determine if you have the technological, personal, and study skills to be successful as an online learner. The responses will provide you with specific feedback about your skills in relation to the skills required for online learning, including self-direction, learning preferences, study habits, technology skills, and computer equipment capabilities.

Additional online learning self-assessment tools can be found in the Resources section of this module.

To learn more about the qualities of successful online learners, read:

This information will assist you in deciding if online learning is right for you and, if so, to be more successful as an online learner.

As an online teacher, it is helpful to provide potential online students access to basic information about online learning, online course structure, qualities of successful online learners, and a self-assessment tool to help them determine if online coursework is right for them. Ideally this information is provided to the student before they choose to enroll in an online course. If that is not possible, it is beneficial to provide this information at the very beginning of an online course so students can choose other learning options if they feel that online learning is not a good match for them, or can specifically target the skills they are weak in as part of their learning throughout the course.