Technical Skills for Online Learning

Technical Skills Required for Successful Online Learning

Students who enroll in a distance education course (online, hybrid, or virtual) are responsible for having adequate computer skills to accomplish the tasks that will be expected of them.  Online instructors are not responsible for teaching these skills within the course.  If you do not possess the following skills, you may want to take a computer class to increase your knowledge before attempting an online class.  

Here are some essential skills required:

  • Knowledge of computer terminology, such as browser, operating system, application, software, files, documents, icon, etc.

  • Understanding of basic computer hardware and software with the ability to perform computer operations, such as:

    • Using keyboard and mouse

    • Managing files and folders: save, name, copy, move, backup, rename, delete, check properties

    • Software installation, security, and virus protection

    • Using software applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email 

    • Knowledge of copying and pasting, spell-checking, and saving files in different formats

    • Uploading and downloading attachments

  • Internet skills (connecting, accessing sites, using browsers) 

  • Ability to use online communication tools, such as email (create, send, receive, reply, print, send/receive attachments), discussion boards (read, search, post, reply, follow threads), chats, and messengers

  • Perform online research using various search engines and library databases

  • Create online accounts

In addition to the key skills above, you must also have access to the technology required for distance education courses.