Online Learning Pre-Test

NWACC wants you to be successful in any online classes you might take.  Success is much easier if you have basic computer skills and know more about online classes before enrolling.  This Pre-Test is designed to help you determine if you have the technology skills and knowledge you need to succeed in online classes.

Please follow these directions carefully.  You will be asked to do certain tasks in a very specific way.

1.  Online classes often require that you create written assignments and submit them to your instructor as an attachment.

a.    Please open a blank document using whatever word-processing software you have on your computer.

b.    Type your name, address, phone number, and date of birth into the document.

c.    Type the name of your computer's operating system and your web browser and version.

d.    Save the document.

2.  Using whatever email system you normally use, create a new email message.  Put onlinelearner@nwacc.edu  in the To line, and Online Learning Pre-test - {Firstname} {Lastname} with your first and last name in the Subject line.  Attach the document you just created in Step 1 to this email.

3.  Open the file given below.  Copy and paste what you find there into the body of the email message.

 Copy and Paste Example 

4.  Read and respond to the following statements.  Each statement talks about some basic requirements for online students, and will help you evaluate your expectations for online learning.  Put your answers into the body of the email also.  Please put the item letter before each answer.

a. Online classes cover the same content as a face-to-face class.  Although they are more convenient, they are not easier and may even take more time than a regular on-campus class because of all the reading and writing involved.  If necessary, would you have extra time to devote to an online class?

b. Online classes at NWACC are not self-paced, and almost every online class has frequent due dates for assignments, just like a regular class.  Are you good at keeping track of due dates and getting things done on time?

c.  Although your instructor will be in the class frequently to guide and assist you, online classes often require you to work independently without immediate feedback.  Are you comfortable working on assignments without having an instructor available to immediately answer questions?

d. Almost every online class requires that you check-in frequently during the week to submit assignments, check email, and interact with your classmates.  Do you have time to get online and into the class at least 3-4 times each week?

e. Online classes require a lot of reading, and you must be able to understand what you read without direct explanation from the teacher.  Is this something that would be easy or hard for you?

f. Online classes require you to have easy access to a computer, and high-speed Internet* is highly recommended.  Would you have both of these things if you took an online class?

*Note: 

    - A Dial-up connection [56k modem] will run very very slowly for online classes, and is not recommended.

    - Wireless cards from a cell-phone provider [like Cricket or Verizon] or satellite internet [like Hughes] do not always have the speed or reliability needed for online classes.  It is possible to take online classes with these types of internet service, but you may experience connection problems when uploading or downloading large files, loss of service during storms, etc. -- so you should have an alternate way to connect to the internet if this occurs.

    - Attempting to regularly use your cellphone to do the online class work is not a good idea because many of the functions inside Blackboard will not work with your phone. 

5.  After doing all the items above, send the email.

 

Self-Assessment

 

I had some problems doing this pre-test

If you had difficulty performing any of the tasks requested above, or have hesitations about the basic requirements for taking an online class, you will need to consider carefully if online classes are right for you.

Here are some suggestions if you are not yet ready for online classes:

If you had problems with the technical tasks above, you might want to take a class called Computer Basics [CISM 1003] to improve your computer skills.  This is not the same as CISQ 1103, so be sure to look for CISM 1003.

You can start by taking a Hybrid class, in which you do part of the work online and part in a regular class.  That way, you can see what working online is like without the full responsibility for an online class.  Hybrid classes are generally 50% in the classroom and 50% online.  Hybrid classes can be found in the online course schedule located at https://www2.nwacc.edu/dbServerNPROD/bwckschd.p_disp_dyn_sched  Courses that contain the word HYBRID in the class title or have a Y at the end of the section number [such as CISQ-1103-42Y] are hybrid sections.

You can always talk to someone in the NWACC Advising Center about either of these options.

If you have any other questions about online learning at NWACC, please browse the New to Distance Learning? pages or contact the Distance Learning Department at dl@nwacc.edu.

 

I had no problems doing this pre-test.

If you were able to perform the above tasks easily and feel well prepared for the requirements of online learning, you can find distance learning classes in the NWACC class schedule located at https://www2.nwacc.edu/dbServerNPROD/bwckschd.p_disp_dyn_sched.

Classes that contain a WWW in the title or a W at the end of the section number [such as CISQ-1103-42W] are 100% online sections.  Courses that contain the word HYBRID in the class title or have a Y at the end of the section number [such as CISQ-1103-42Y] are hybrid sections.  Hybrid classes are generally 50% in the classroom and 50% online, which means you come to campus less and do part of your class work online.

You can always talk to someone in the NWACC Advising Center about enrolling in distance learning classes. Instructions on how to register can be found here.

If you have any other questions about online learning at NWACC, please browse the Distance Learning web pages at /web/disted or contact the Distance Learning Department at dl@nwacc.edu.