Am I Ready For Online Learning?

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Online learning can present a number of challenges when compared to a traditional classroom. Learning activities and resources may be delivered on a set schedule, or you may have the option to work at your own pace within a given timeframe. Regardless of course structure, students hoping to be successful in this type of environment should be self-motivated, proactive learners with a fundamental understanding of computer and internet usage.

This page outlines some technical recommendations and general guidelines you'll want to consider when making the decision to enroll in an online course. You should also see our system requirements page to ensure your computer and internet connection meets our minimum standards.

Technical Ability

  • Internet & Email

    Students are expected to have access to a personal computer, equipped with a broadband internet connection. This is especially important in courses which use audio and video elements as part of their activities. Dial-up connections may not be able to deliver such material in a timely manner.

    It is expected that you are comfortable using a web browser and internet search engine without assistance. You will need to perform online research and answer questions as needed. You should have your own email account and be comfortable sending and receiving messages with file attachments.

  • Word Processing

    You will require a word processing application installed on your system, and are expected to be comfortable with creating, opening, modifying, saving, and printing documents. It is recommended that you have some experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for working with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. There are a number of software options available that will do this, and a few of the more popular choices are listed on the right side of this page.

  • File Management

    You should have an understanding of how documents are stored on your computer, and how to browse the basic file/folder structure to save or open files in specified areas of your computer's hard drive. It is strongly recommended that you keep backup copies of your work, in the event of user or system errors.

Keys to Success

While online learning can offer a convenient and flexible way to pursue your educational goals, some students may find it challenging to be successful outside of a traditional classroom setting. In a sense, online courses require more self-discipline, and many students have reported investing significantly more time in web-based learning in comparison to an on-campus course.

  • Time Management

    Open entry courses are often able to fit around an already busy schedule, which is one of the most appealing qualities in many online programs. However, it can sometimes create additional challenges for students who are likely to procrastinate or not stick to a regular study routine.

    Time management is especially important in ensuring your success, and it is suggested that students establish a regular study schedule, as you will be expected to complete tasks and assignments without daily reminders from your teacher.

  • Communication

    Whether for assistance with course material or for technical support, students should promptly ask for help whenever necessary. Most courses offer several ways to communicate with instructors and Open Acadia staff. These methods can include email, telephone, discussion forums, chat rooms, or instant messaging. Teachers and staff want to help you succeed, but it is the student's responsibility to voice any questions or concerns as they arise.

  • Study Environment

    Ensure you have a quiet place to study, away from outside distractions like television, family, or roommates. Your study environment should be well lit, quiet, and comfortable. Additionally, you should make every effort to avoid activities such as text messaging, chatting, or video games as they can quickly throw you off-track and negatively impact your overall quality of learning.

Contact Us

phone Phone: 902-585-1434
Toll-Free: 1-800-565-6568
Fax:  902-585-1057 
phone Rhodes Hall, Attn: Open Acadia
Acadia University
Wolfville, NS 
B4P 2R6
Monday — Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm AST

Are You Ready For Online Learning?

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Phone: (902) 585-1427
Toll free: 1-800-565-6568

Regular hours
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
(Atlantic Time)

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