Requirements for a Distance Learning Course

What do I need to take an online course?

Before you sign up for an Internet course it is important that you:

  • Are familiar with general computer terms and use.
    For example, if you don't know what it means to reboot your computer you should take an introductory computer class onsite before signing up for an Internet course.
  • Are comfortable surfing the web and using search engines.
    Remember that the entire course will be taught over the Internet. Your instructor will expect (rightly so) that you know how to use the Internet when you sign up for this class. You will probably be asked to do research on the Web in addition to accessing the course site.
  • Have regular access to a reliable computer.
    The actual specs your computer will need depend on the course you are taking and your patience. For example - some courses will require that you install additional software to complete the course. Obviously, your computer will have to be capable of running that software. Of course the slower your PC the longer it's going to take you to complete your work and view the course site. If you don't mind the wait you can probably make do with a slower computer. An ideal range for the typical user is a computer that is less than 3 or 4 years old. Be sure your computer has a recent version of Internet Explorer or Firefox installed and working correctly. To check your version click on the Help Menu and click About from the drop down menu. You should see a version number on this screen.
  • Have regular access to a reliable Internet connection.
    Although we do have some students who complete Internet courses using the computer labs or LRC computers, we highly recommend that online students have their own computer at home.
  • Know how to send and receive email, including file attachments.
    The majority of personal contact with your instructor will be through email. Moodle does offer an email feature but you will also need to be able to use your Sandhills student email account to send and receive email. Additionally, you may need to send your instructor file attachments using email. If you don't already know how to do these things, learn how to do them before you sign up for an Internet course.


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