Online Class General Information

Technical Considerations

Hardware and Software Availability

  • Do you have access to a computer that is no more than 5 years old and is it capable of accessing the Internet?
  • Do you have an account with an Internet Service Provider?
  • Do you have a word processing program that has a spell checker?

Comfort Level With Computers

  • Can you run the programs you need to use on a computer? This includes any specific applications which may be required as part of your course, in addition to word processing, e-mail, and web browser programs.
  • Can you create, save and manage (copy/move/delete/rename) files on your computer?
  • Do you know how to install software on your computer if you need to?

Internet Skills

  • Can you access e-mail and the Internet at least twice a week?  If taking a fast-track class (8-weeks or less) do you have computer/e-mail access on a daily basis?
  • Do you know how to send and receive e-mail messages?
  • Do you know how to attach a file to an e-mail message?
  • Do you know how to receive a file attachment from an incoming email message?
  • Do you know how to paste text from a word processor into an email message?

Learning Style Considerations

  • Do you stay on task without direct supervision (or do you work best when someone is there to help keep you focused)?
  • Can you prioritize your own workload (or do you tend to put tasks off for later)?
  • Do you learn best from reading source material and completing activities (or do you learn best from spoken or visual presentations)?
  • Do you usually understand written instructions (or does having instructions explained make a big difference for you)?
  • Are you good at assessing your own progress (or do you need instructor feedback right away)?
  • Do you enjoy learning new computer or technology skills (or does the thought of having to learn new computer or technology skills cause you anxiety)?
  • Do you like to solve problems and work through difficulties independently (or do you prefer to have someone help you)?
  • Are you planning to allocate as much time in your schedule for your online course as you would for a more "traditional" classroom course (because the workload and time commitment will be the same, if not more!)?
  • Will you have time every week to work on assignment (because most classes have weekly due dates and follow the normal semester schedule)?
  • Do you have time/distance constraints that make coming to campus at a particular time difficult (or are you thinking of taking an online class just because you think it will be easier)?

Instructions for Interpreting Your Answers

If you honestly answered "Yes" to all of the Technical Consideration questions, you should be technically capable of taking an online class.  However, if you answered "No" to some of them, you may want to reconsider taking a course online. At the very least, you will have some technology to learn in addition to the content of the class(es) you take, and you should make extra time in your schedule accordingly.

If you honestly answered "Yes" to the first part of each Learning Style Consideration question, you should be well suited to the online classroom environment. However, if your answers lean more towards the statements in parentheses, then you may find the online learning environment less satisfying. The online classroom requires you to structure your own schedule, communicate with your instructor and fellow classmates using computer-based technology, and learn most of your material from reading.

Suggestions for a More Positive Learning Experience

  • Read the Online Learning Student Guide well before the start of class.
  • Keep in frequent contact with your instructor.
  • To keep from falling behind in your class work, choose a consistent time and place to study and stick with it!
  • Visit the CLC/LRC at a CAC campus near you - some staff members are trained to assist students with online learning.
  • Contact us for username and password issues
  • For any questions about the online classes in general, please don't hesitate to e-mail the CAC Blackboard System Administrator ( or call (520) 494-5533.
  • If you have any questions about the contents of a particular class, please contact the instructor.

Content on this page is provided by Online Learning Support.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814