Online courses have a lot to offer, especially if you’re an adult student. You can fit class time into your busy schedule, and you can complete your work from your own home. But online classes might seem scary if you aren’t tech savvy. Are they worth taking if you’re not comfortable around technology? You may be surprised to learn that online classes are easier to navigate than you think.
Online Courses Are User Friendly
One reason online classes are so popular is that they are not designed for tech experts. They’re designed for casual computer users like you. The basic tools you’ll use—such as the Internet, email, and word processing software—are the same tools you probably use every day. In fact, experts say that the learning curve for online classes is very low. So, you should be able to understand the tech part of your courses in no time. One way you can speed up the learning process is to familiarize yourself with the technological components of the virtual classroom:
- Learning Management System—The learning management system is basically your online classroom. Once you log into this system through a web browser, you’ll be able to access the courses you take. When you click on a course, you’ll be able to navigate to the course materials. The LMS will also include a webmail system that will allow you to send email messages to your instructors and coursemates.
- Basic Software—Your course materials will include PDFs, videos, and PowerPoint presentations. To access these materials, you only need to click on them, but you will need basic software such as Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office to open them. Don’t have Microsoft Office? You can access the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for free when you log in to Microsoft 365 with a student ID.
- Email—When you enroll in an online program, your school will set up a student email account for you. This will be an important tool to communicate with your instructors and school staff, so make a habit of checking it at least twice a day.
Choose a School That Offers Tech Support
Once you get into the routine of logging in, using your LMS, and communicating online, you’ll probably find online learning as flexible and convenient as you’ve heard it would be. But technology can be glitchy from time to time. When that happens, you’ll need to rely on the assistance of a tech support team. Make sure the school you choose offers IT support to its students. They can help when you have log in problems, need to reset a password, or just generally when something doesn’t seem to be working. Don’t be afraid to ask your instructors for help with course materials, either. If you need to join a discussion forum but aren’t sure how to create a post, just ask. Their job is to help you learn.
The added benefit of online classes is that they can help you become tech savvy. You may not consider yourself a technology wiz, but your skills will become a whole lot sharper by the time you graduate. If you’re ready to take online classes, contact Charter College today. We offer online programs in Business, IT, Health Care, and some of the Trades. Fill out the form to learn more.