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Is online learning for you?

You now have the option of taking courses in one of three ways:  in a traditional, face-to-face classroom; in a web-enhanced class using Brightspace (previously called Springboard); or as an totally online course.  The flexibility of online learning is empowering, but be sure to consider the unique aspects of this type of learning.  These questions and answers can help you determine if online learning is for you.

Is your learning style conducive to online learning?

Everyone learns differently. Some students need the face-to- face interaction of a traditional classroom, while other students work well if they have the time to sit down independently and work through a problem.

There are eight types of learning styles; however, the three most common styles are:

  • Visual - the learner learns best by reading or observing.
  • Auditory - the learner learns best by hearing or listening.
  • Kinesthetic - the learner learns best by doing.

Take the VARK Questionnaire to determine how you might learn best. Then, use this information to help you decide if online learning may be right for you.

Do you have the time available to commit to online learning?

While one of the lures of online learning is that you have the flexibility to complete your assignments when they are convenient for you, most students find that online learning takes more time than the traditional classroom. Read the time requirements to determine if you have the available time online learning may require.

Do you have the necessary computer skills and hardware and software?

Even the best students will not succeed in the online environment if they don't have the necessary tools. Rest assured, you don't need to be a computer wizard to succeed. Read the computer hardware and software requirements to determine if you have the necessary tools to be successful.

Do your expectations of online learning match what online learning has to offer?

What do you think online learning involves? Take a look at the expectations of the online learning course and see if they match your beliefs.

Is the course you are interested in available with an online option?

Because online course listings change every semester, the best place to see if a course is offered online is in My Akron.

Will you be comfortable with the Brightspace environment?

The University of Akron uses the Desire2Learn platform for its online learning classes. Our branded version of that software is called Brightspace. If you are unsure if you have the vocabulary or skills necessary to take an online class, browse through the Springboard! documentation and see if you understand the mechanics of how you will communicate with your classmates and instructor. This information and the Atomic Learning tutorials in My Akron will also show you how you will turn in assignments and take quizzes. This website should address some of your concerns and questions as you contemplate taking an online course. If you have additional questions, please contact the instructor of the course.

Available Online Programs

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Offering more programs via alternative methods (e.g., fully online, through distance education classrooms, and through blended means) better meets the needs of today's students.

Resources to Explore

Find the right online course, program or college to meet your needs