1-800-4-ALFRED (425-3733)

Online Readiness Assessment

Printer-friendly version

So You Want to Take an Online Course?

If you answer “yes” to all of the following questions, then online learning may be for you!

Online courses are hard work! Successful students have a passion for knowledge and a willingness to excel. These students take responsibility for their role in learning and the educational process. It will be necessary for you to be a self-starter and to complete assignments without the constant help of other students or your professor.

Lectures, assignments, projects, and most course materials are contained in your online classroom. You must have full access to a home computer in order to be successful in your course.

You must have administrative privileges to your computer, or there must be someone able and willing to allow/process downloads from safe third party software such as RealPlayer, Adobe Readers, and Flash Player. You also need to have working speakers to use some of the multimedia applications or software.

To participate in online courses you must have your own reliable Internet Service Provider.

A recent computer with Windows or Mac Operating systems and a high speed Internet connection is required. This will enable students to use Blackboard’s features successfully. Cookies, Java, ActiveX, and pop-ups all need to be enabled in your Web browser. We have determined that wireless Internet connections are less reliable than hard-wired connections when using Blackboard and will cause problems during tests.

Typically, the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are certified to be fully compatible with Blackboard’s features. (However, this is not always the case.) In addition, Blackboard has established support for use with Google Chrome and Apple Safari. The Web site below contains information on which browsers are best suited for using Blackboard.


Software requirements vary from course to course, but typically include media players, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office file viewers. Many of these are free downloads available from their respective websites.