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4 Steps to Take Before You Sign Up for That Online Program

Published: February 6, 2017

You can’t take an online course if you don’t understand some basics about how to use a computer and get online. No, you don’t have to be a tech wiz or programming genius, but the more comfortable you are with the medium you’ll use, the more effectively you’ll be able to use it.


Step 1: Get up to speed with technology. If you don’t use a computer often, it’s time to increase your time in front of the screen. Power up that desktop or laptop and roam around the programs you have. Send an email. Open and save files. Hook up to the internet. Are you familiar with any of the Microsoft Office Suite? Check out Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. If you’re reluctant to go it alone, research free courses on computer basics offered by public libraries and community centers. And then, get lots of practice.


Step 2: Confirm your set up. Most online programs will have specific system requirements for your participation in your courses. Among the components you may need are:

·         Reliable access to high speed internet

·         Active email account

·         Up-to-date operating system

·         Intel Pentium 4 Processor

·         Minimum 1GB RAM

·         Compatible web browser (e.g., Chrome, Explorer, Firefox, Safari)

·         Sound card and computer speakers

·         Earbuds and computer microphone

·         Adobe Flash Player

·         Adobe Reader

·         Microsoft Office


Step 3: Check out the program. Not all online programs are alike. Make certain that whichever one you choose provides you with the education and support you need to succeed. Ask the right questions:

·         Will the program teach me what I need to know?

·         Will the online portals and features be easy to use?

·         Will there be technical support that’s easy to access?

·         Will my instructors be available to answer questions?

·         Will I be able to connect with classmates?


Step 4: Get organized. If you want to succeed in eLearning, you’ll need to be well-organized and committed. Take the course syllabus and look at all your assignments on day one. Merge your course schedule with your personal calendar and set realistic deadlines and goals. You’ll have to allocate quiet times and study spaces to get coursework done. You’ll also need to organize your life enough to fit in your new commitment. That may mean saying no to social events and even previous obligations. Don’t worry. It’s only for a short time. You can do it!


If you believe that continuing your education could help you achieve great things, that’s great! So do we. At Charter College, we have a wide variety of certificates and degrees you can earn completely online. If you’re ready to get started, request info now and we’ll answer all your questions before you sign up so you can make an educated decision.