Minnesota West Online

Should I Take an Online Class?


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 Minnesota West. The assessment covers both technical as well as learning style considerations.

This is strictly a self-assessment tool, so give yourself honest 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

  • Are you comfortable with using computers?
  • Do you know how to print documents from a computer?
  • Do you have basic navigation skills such as minimizing and maximizing Windows, and browsing back and forward?
  • Are you able to create, save, and manage files on your computer?
  • Are you comfortable installing or upgrading computer software?
  • Do you have word processing skills?
  • Can you copy and paste text or graphics across applications using the clipboard?
  • Are you comfortable using email, including sending and receiving attachments?
  • Do you know how to find information on the Internet?
  • 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?


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. You can also take the free Introduction to Online Learning class. Contact the d2ladmin@mnwest.edu and ask to be enrolled.