Is Online Learning a Good Fit For Me?

Online courses are not for everybody.

Is an online course right for YOU?


If you answer NO to even one of the questions on this quiz, you are strongly advised NOT to take and online course.

SUNY Adirondack online courses are not self-paced:  You have reading assignments and homework with due dates just as in a classroom course. Making a study schedule and sticking to it is the single most important step you can take to ensure that you will successfully complete your online course:


  • Maintain a regular login and study schedule. Please don’t “save” all your online work for Sunday evenings! Instead, set aside several days and times throughout the week specifically to work on your online courses. Then stick to that schedule.
  • Plan to work at least nine hours a week for a three-credit course, twelve hours a week for a four-credit course.
  • Begin your assignments as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the due date!
  • Exchanging ideas and information asynchronously takes time when your course mates, your instructor, and you are all logging in on different days and times. If you have questions about your homework, post them immediately in order to allow your instructor a couple of days to get back to you. If you have a question about an assignment an hour before it's due, you can't count on anyone being online to answer you!

If you typically put off tasks until the last minute, you are strongly advised to take classroom-based courses instead of online courses.

Online courses start and end with the regular semester calendar. Just as in classroom-based courses, online courses have reading and homework assignments with deadlines. When you enroll in an online course, plan to begin "attending class" the very first day of the semester, just as you would for classroom-based courses. Plan to work a minimum of 9 to 12 hours a week for each online course.

You work asynchronously.

Unlike classroom-based courses, your instructor, your course mates, and you each work at your own times and in separate locations. Sitting at your desk at home, you might post comments in the discussion area of your course Monday night. Your course mate John might read and respond to your comments on Wednesday at 6 AM using a laptop computer in his hotel room. Then at noon on Thursday your course mate Rita reads your comments and John's response while she sits at her desk at work during her lunch break. Even working on your own schedules, each of you still needs to meet deadlines for all assignments.

Expect to write a lot!

  • All communication is done using tools built right into your Web-based course, tools such as discussion areas and written assignments in which you and your course mates exchange ideas by writing back and forth to one another. No talking, no listening, just writing.
  • You have time to think about your questions and your answers and to revise what you want to say.
  • And online courses give you plenty of opportunities to say what's on your mind.

 You need the correct equipment & software.

  • You will need a  computer (Newer then 4 years old recommended)
  • You will need Internet Access (Broadband Strongly Recommended)
  • ANGEL works on both Windows and MAC computers.  Mobile Devices (Android, Ipad/Iphone) and Chromebooks not supported.
  • Browser Information - Firefox and Chrome Recommended,  Internet Explorer 8 - 10 (IE11 is not compatible), Safari
  • SUNY Adirondack courses use the ANGEL course management system.  You don't need any special software to access your courses except a browser with Internet access..
  • Some instructors may also require course-specific software (e.g., Excel, MathType, textbook CDs).
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