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Do you have the necessary computer skills?

A good online student does not need to be a computer whiz, but does feel comfortable using basic features of their computer, such as a web browser and word processor.

To be successful in an online class, you should have the following technology skills—or be able to call on someone--like a close friend or family member—who can teach you.

Internet Skills—You should know how to:

bulletuse a browser, such as Internet Explorer;
bulletuse a Search Engine, such as Google;
bulletunderstand URLs;
bulletcreate bookmarks (or “favorites”) within your browser;
bulletdownload files or save the target of specific URLs;
bulletupload files by using simple web forms;
bulletsend and receive email with attachments;
bulletsave email attachments on your hard drive;
bulletuse browser helper programs like Adobe Acrobat Reader and Microsoft media player.

Computer & Technical Skills – You should know how to:

bulletuse a word processor;
bulletpaste text from a web page or a word processor document into an email;
bulletprint materials from the Internet or from other computer documents;
bulletsave a document as various file types;
bulletcreate and manage files and folders on your computer;
bulletinstall software downloaded from the Internet;
bulletfind files on your hard drive.

If you feel comfortable with these basic skills, you will have no problems with the technical aspects of an online class.

Computer Skills Inventory.  Do the following statements apply to you?  If all or most of them do, you certainly have the technical skills to take an online class.

  1. I am comfortable using a computer.
  2. Keyboarding is easy for me, and I am usually accurate.
  3. I know how to print documents from my computer.
  4. I know how to use the Internet.
  5. I know what a URL is.
  6. I know how to use a search engine.
  7. I know how to make a bookmark (or “favorite”).
  8. I am comfortable using email.
  9. I know how to make an email attachment.
  10. I know how to save an email attachment to my hard drive.
  11. I know how to copy files from a hard drive to a floppy disk, CD or flash drive.
  12. I know how to make a folder and save a file in it on my computer.
  13. I feel comfortable using a word processor.
  14. I know how to copy and paste text from one document to another.
  15. I know how to save a word processing document in “Rich Text Format” (RTF).
  16. I know how to download and install browser plug-in software, like a media player.
  17. I have played audio and video files on the Internet.
  18. I know what a PDF file is.
  19. I have used chat and bulletin boards on the Internet.
  20. I have used simple web forms.


Hot Tip
If you have problems logging in to our online class gateway, PCOnline, or if you run into technical problems while taking your online class, send email to online class technical support, or call ext. 2862 for help.
True, true
"Those who make the worse use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness."

~Jean de la Bruyere

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