Student logging into Blackboard on computer

Are online courses right for me?

Are you thinking about online courses? Excellent! Let’s make sure you are ready. 

Online learning is like classroom learning. Your teacher provides readings, exercises, assignments, discussions, and quizzes.  As with in-person classes, what you get out of an online course depends on what you put into it. Online courses require a similar amount of time and effort as in-person classes. But you must be self-motivated and eager to work with others via email and chat to complete projects. Online classes often work best for students who learn by reading and writing. If you learn better by hearing lectures or making presentations, an on-campus class might be a better fit.  

Basic Technical Skills and Technology  

Online learners need basic technical skills. You need to know how to use programs like Microsoft Word, find files, use the internet, and download software. Email online learning for more information. 

Learn more about technology requirements

Get help with technology costs and laptops 

Attendance and Participation 

  • Active participation is required in online courses.
  • Plan to participate online several times a week. Your instructor may have certain requirements.
  • Participate often and share thoughtful responses in discussions.
  • You can pick which days and times of day to complete your coursework as long as you follow the class schedule and meet due dates.


Online students want to succeed. They are motivated and independent. They take responsibility for their learning by making a schedule and sticking to it.

Successful Online Learners 

Online learning is a great way to achieve your goals with a more flexible schedule. Successful online students: 

  • Log in regularly to their classes—usually at least three times per week. 
  • Have good time-management skills. 
  • Plan enough time to study and complete assignments. 
  • Commit six to nine hours per week per three-credit class. 
  • Log in and make progress each day. 
  • Take notes as they study. 
  • Have basic computer skills. 
  • Are visual learners able to learn easily from reading and writing online. 
  • Read and write well. 
  • Seek help when they need it. 
  • Have good research skills, including how to effectively use the internet. 
  • Can work well on projects via email and online. 
  • Are active learners who accept responsibility for their own learning. 

Take the next step at Mt. Hood Community College

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