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Online Learning - For You?

Online Learning - Is it for You?

Online learning can be a great option for people with disabilities. Students who choose online learning avoid the hassles of navigating to and from campus. It can be an accomodating and helpful way for a students with disabilities to obtain their degree. Online learning can also be a decision that requires much thinking, as there are many aspects to online learning for students with disabilities.

Is online learning for you?
Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How well do I manage time? Online learning requires a good deal of independence and the ability to manage one's own time without frequent reminders.
  2. Does my disability affect my ability to process and comprehend written information? Information in an online course is frequently delivered via written material on the learning management system and web sites. The instructor may not be readily available to provide auditory feedback.
  3. Will I need to use assistive technology to complete this course? For some students with disabilities, the use of assistive technology is necessary. This can pose a challenge if some aspects of the online course management system are not compatible with the type of assistive technology that you use.
  4. How comfortable am I with computers and technology? It is important to be aware of your current comfort level with computers and technology. Are you a digital native or a digital immigrant? Digital natives have grown up with computers and technology and are agile with using the many facets of computers. Digital immigrants did not grow up using technology. Technology's widespread use came after they entered adulthood. The technology is more difficult for immigrants to navigate. Knowing your comfort level with computers and technology will help you to determine if online learning is for you.
  5. What do I expect of the online study? What kind of interaction are you expecting from the instructor? Are you expecting a lot of personal interaction or a little? Do you think you will have a lot of writing to do or not as much? You should find out as much as possible about the format of the online study, the expectations the instructors have of you, and what you need to do to successfully complete the course. The more information you learn about the course prior to enrolling and beginning the course, the better you can determine if online study is for you.

Online Accommodations

Taking courses online may create a need for different accommodations. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis with documentation that has been provided and discussion with the student. An accommodation is based on a functional limitation of the disability.

It is important to contact the Disability Services Office at 610-683-4108 as soon as possible if you will be requesting an online accommodation. Some accommodations may need up to 4 weeks lead time.