Online theological education offers you a number of exciting opportunities – small class size, a pace that lets you explore your topics of interest in depth, and the chance to study at your convenience. How do you know if an online or traditional classroom course is right for you? For you to be successful, you’ll want to consider these important questions before making a decision. Also view our online learning checklist.
Am I flexible?
Flexibility is important in the online classroom. Instead of meeting face-to-face, you’ll be learning independently through online presentations from your professor, discussions with your peers, and exercises that will demonstrate or test your critical thinking skills. You can expect to learn as much from your peers as your instructor.
Am I an independent learner?
If you enjoy working on projects by yourself or in small groups, online education is an option for you. Independent learning requires strong organizational and time management skills – whether it is in the face-to-face classroom setting or online. In the online classroom, you will need to manage your time wisely, as online education does not mean that you will complete the course on your own timetable. You’ll be learning independently and will need to follow closely the instructions presented by your instructor. To be successful you will have deadlines that must be met.
Am I comfortable with technology?
Online learning requires computer literacy. You’ll need to be able to send e-mail and have group discussions online in order to succeed. You’ll also need daily computer access to a high-speed Internet connection.
Do I thrive with personal attention and group feedback?
In some ways, online learning provides more feedback than the face-to-face classroom – not only will you receive feedback from your professor, but also from your peers. Participation in online discussions is often rich in feedback; therefore, you’ll need to participate and be willing to accept other perspectives that might not be voiced in face-to-face situations.