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Why Your Computer Skills Determine The Success Of Your Online

Aug 17, 2007
Many busy adults take online courses to make it more convenient for them to upgrade their degrees or earn degrees in new fields. However, to take advantage of this, one must be confident enough in his/her computer skills in order to be able to complete the online courses and earn one's degree online.

For some, especially those who work on computers in their current occupations, that likely isn't a problem, as they will likely already have experience with programs they will use in their online courses. On the other hand, those who don't use computers much or at all in their current occupations, may have a steeper learning curve in regards to working with the software that is necessary to successfully pass online courses.

People wishing to pursue a degree via online education should be familiar with word processing software like Microsoft Word, spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel, and presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint, since it is possible you will have to create documents, spreadsheets, and/or presentations that you will need to send to your professor via email or have to upload to a site from which your professor will download it.

Therefore, you should also be familiar with your email software program, like Microsoft Outlook or a web-based email provider like Hotmail, Yahoo, and/or GMail, as well as knowing how to upload and download files, since you're not going to be able to write your answers on notebook paper or print out pages from your printer in order to give to your professor, nor will he/she give you papers with your assignments on them since you likely will not meet him/her in person during the course. So knowing how to email and upload/download files will be essential for you to complete online courses.

Often, your professor will provide video and/or audio lectures for you as part of your course material. As a result, you should be familiar with whatever software is required to access these lectures, whether it would be RealPlayer, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, or the University's own software program. Familiarize yourself with the controls so you can playback the lectures easily and can concentrate on the information given in the lectures, not on how to work the software.

It is certainly possible that your course material will require you to conduct some searches for additional information, so you should be familiar with the Google search engine at least, if not others like Yahoo, AskJeeves, MSN, etc. Know how to search for information on various topics by knowing what keywords, or words that signify what topic you are looking for, to input into the box.

At times, computers and software programs won't function like they are supposed to, resulting in error messages and complications. The more experience you have with computers, the more likely you'll be able to solve these problems on your own. However, should you get stuck, contact your professor and/or classmates and see if they can assist you. Let them know right away that you are having trouble and can't solve it so that you don't fall behind in your classes, because once you fall behind on the material, it is very difficult to catch up, especially if you are uncomfortable using computers to begin with.

Many people nowadays look toward online courses to help them obtain their degrees faster, but one must be prepared to work with the software that is required to complete these online courses in order for them to receive that added benefit of gaining their degrees faster.
About the Author
Bryan Wong is the owner of www.OneStopEducationSearch.com, a website that provides you a unique one-stop-search-service and high quality articles. Visit www.OneStopEducationSearch.com for great tips. Visit our giftshop and get an ebook on Time Management just for stopping by.
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