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Are You Ready for an Online Class?

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Should I Take an Online Class?

Things to Consider When Enrolling in an Online Class

Benefits of online learning include:

  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • Courses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Students can attend anytime, from anywhere

Online learning is not for everyone. Certain work habits, learning styles and skills contribute to a successful online learning experience.

Use the following self-assessment to help you determine if you are ready to take an online class from OSU-OKC. These questions cover technical and learning style considerations. This is strictly a self-assessment tool, so be honest with your answers.

Learning Style Considerations

  • Are you self-starter, able to motivate yourself to work?
  • Do you enjoy working and learning on your own, rather than as a part of a group?
  • Can you budget your time and set schedules for yourself to get work completed on time?
  • Are you willing to speak up when you have a question?
  • Do you usually read and understand the textbook without help?
  • Can you communicate adequately in writing? Can you understand and follow instructions given in writing rather than orally?
  • Are you comfortable participating in a class where you are not physically present and may not know the instructor or the other students?

Technical Considerations

  • Do you have a computer with Internet access? If you do not have your own computer, can you get to campus to use the computer lab or arrange to use some other computer at least two hours per day?
  • Are you comfortable with using computers?
  • Do you have basic navigation skills such as minimizing and maximizing windows?
  • Are you comfortable installing computer software and browser plug-ins?
  • Are you able to create, save and manage files on your computer?
  • Do you have word processing skills? Do you know how to save a word processing document in “Rich Text Format” (.RTF)?
  • Do you know how to print? How to print frames?
  • Are you comfortable using email, sending and receiving attachments?
  • Can you copy and paste text or graphics across applications (using the clipboard)?
  • Do you know how to find information on the Internet?
  • Is your computer less than four years old? If you answer NO, you may need to consider upgrading.

Minimum System Requirements

Following is the hardware and software needed to complete your online classes at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City.

Minimum PC Requirements

  • Intel Core 2 Duo 3.16Ghz, 6MB L2 cache or AMD equivalent
  • 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive - Note that some software may require a DVD drive for installation
  • Hard drive: 160 GB minimum
  • Graphics card and monitor capable of 1024x768 display
  • Stereo sound card, speakers and/or headset, microphone
  • USB 2.0 port(s), min USB 3.0 preferred
  • A Webcam may be required in some courses.

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows 7 or above.
  • MAC OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and higher is supported for most online course materials, but there may be applications that require a supported Windows Operating System. You should be prepared to run a virtual machine environment such as Parallels desktop, vmWare fusion, Oracle VirtualBox with an installed and supported Windows Operating System (as mentioned above) if you elect to use a MAC.

Screen Settings

Your screen resolution (size) should be set at minimum 1024 x 768 or higher.

Internet Access

Internet access is required to participate in online components of your courses. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) will provide you with the software and access necessary to utilize the Internet in order of preference:

  • Broadband: (LAN, Cable, or DSL) connection is highly recommended for optimal student experience and is required for all technical programs.
  • Satellite and/or Cellular (3G/4G) may also be used.

If you connect to the Internet through your company, you may need to ensure that appropriate plug-ins and access rights are available to you. Check with your IT department to ensure that you may access course materials from your company's network.

Internet Browser Settings

  • Pop-Up Blocker should be disabled
  • Java Script should be enabled
  • Java should be enabled
  • Cookies should be enabled


The most recent version of the following plug-ins are required for many of the resources available in online courses:

  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • RealPlayer (Basic)
  • Apple QuickTime Player
  • Java v7 or higher

A majority of “yes” answers indicates that you are a good candidate for success in an online class.

A few “no” answers may point out areas that you should strengthen or address, but you may still decide that an online class is a good choice for you.

Many “no” answers may indicate that your chances for success would be greater in a traditional class setting at this time. As your skills and experience grow, you may decide to revisit the option of online learning.

If after answering these questions you are still unsure if an online class is right for you, contact the instructor of the class you are interested in taking.