Are You Ready for Online Learning?

Is online learning right for you? 

Use the following quick self-assessment questionnaire to assist you in finding out if you are ready to take an online course. This assessment will cover learning styles and technical considerations. 


If you would like a more thorough and detailed report, SmarterMeasure is a free assessment to determine your strengths and weaknesses related to online courses.

Self-Assessment: Learning Styles

  1. (a) Can you work independently without much contact with others; or
    (b) Do you feel the need to be with other students and/or the instructor to feel as though you are part of the class?
  2. (a)Would you classify yourself as someone who is self-motivated and does not need a lot of direction; or
    (b)Do you need assistance in keeping on task and understanding what needs to be done?
  3. (a) Can you prioritize your workload; or
    (b) Do you procrastinate and easily distracted?
  4. (a)Are you able to assess your own progress; or
    (b) Do you need immediate instructor feedback on assignments/assessments?
  5. (a)Will you schedule enough time to accomplish an online course like you would in a traditional course setting; or
    (b) Will your online course be low priority in your schedule.?
  6. (a) Do you like to learn new computer or technology skills; or
    (b) Do you find this difficult or daunting?
  7. (a) As a reader, do you usually comprehend written material; or
    (b) Do you struggle with retaining the information? 

Self-Assessment: Technical Considerations

  1. Do you currently have an email address?
  2. Can you attach a file and open an attachment to an email message?
  3. Can you copy and paste text from one source into an email message?
  4. Do you have multimedia capabilities on your computer, tablet, laptop, etc. like speakers, camera, microphone, etc.?
  5. Do you know how to update your computer with virus protection, plugins, players, etc.?
  6. Do you have easy access to the internet?
  7. Do you have your own computer or laptop?
  8. Do you know how to install software on your computer?
  9. Do you know what a browser is?
  10. Can you manage files (save files, move files, etc.) on your computer or laptop?

How to Assess Your Answers

For Learning Styles: All of our online courses do allow for communication between you and your instructor and some instructors create groups of students who will work together on a project. Emailing is the main form of communication, but some instructors use virtual office hours to assist as well.  If you answer (a) to the questions, then online courses may be right for you. If your answers lean toward (b), you may want to reconsider taking online courses. 

For Technical Considerations: If you answered yes to most if not all of the Technical Consideration questions, online learning may be right for you.   

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions: Information on a range of topics from discounted software to connecting to Gateway's wireless network.

Netiquette: It is expected that all students behave ethically online. See an overview of internet etiquette.

My Gateway Student Portal: Learn how to access My Gateway and many other services at the college.

​Is Your Computer Ready? Learn about the minimum requirements for your computer to use BlackBoard, which is necessary to take an online course. (Test your browser.)

Anti-Virus Downloads: All Gateway Technical College students are required to have updated virus protection installed on their laptops/computers. Free virus protection is available to currently enrolled students for both Windows and Macs at WiscSoftware. (Select Gateway from the WTCS pulldown on the left side of the screen and then scroll down to the section titled Free Antivirus Software.)

Student Handbook: The latest in-depth review of the policies and procedures that are important to you as a Gateway Technical College student.