You are here: American University Online Learning Is Online Learning for You?

Online Learning provides a valuable option to the traditional classroom, giving you the opportunity to take classes while traveling, taking an internship, working, or enjoying a summer vacation. However, you will need to ask yourself if you are self-motivated and organized. Can you manage an accelerated course and be comfortable with technology? If the answer is yes, Online Learning might be a good fit for you.

If you're considering Online Learning, keep the following in mind:

Time Commitment

Participating in online discussions often takes longer than classroom discussions. Typing a thought can be more time consuming than saying it, and since everyone can comment on any given issue, there are typically more contributions to absorb.

With this greater time commitment, however, also comes increased flexibility. The days and times you are online for class are entirely up to you, as long as you sign in, post comments, and complete assignments as required by your instructor. This flexibility allows you to fit school into your busy schedule, rather than attempting to fit your schedule around school.

Motivation and Discipline

Taking an online course requires self-motivation and self-discipline. Unlike traditional classes with a regularly scheduled place and time, the asynchronous environment of an online class means students must take greater responsibility for keeping pace with the course schedule. By assuming this greater responsibility for learning, however, students will hone a valuable life-long skill.

Technical Proficiency/Requirements

  • comfortable using a computer and learning new computer skills with basic instruction
  • able to navigate the Internet
  • experienced with sending and receiving e-mail and working with attachments
  • familiar with word processing applications, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint

Please go to the Technical Requirements page for information about hardware and software requirements.