Many students with disabilities feel that studying online will be the solution to their accommodation needs. You may be considering online study for the same reasons. What you need to be aware of is that studying online creates the need for a whole different set of accommodations. You should enroll in an online course after you have taken the time to carefully consider the requirements of the study and your strengths and weaknesses. To determine if online learning is for you ask yourself these questions:
How well do I manage my time?
The independent nature of online study requires a firm grasp on the ability to manage your time. You will be required to set a regular study schedule, keep track of assignments and due dates, as well as participate in online discussions. This may be more difficult without regular, in-person reminders from an instructor. This requires discipline to ensure that the course is not forgotten in your day-to-day activities.
Does my disability affect my ability to process and comprehend written information?
For individuals with certain disabilities, managing the content, directions and discussion in an online course becomes increasingly difficult. Information in an online course is frequently delivered via written material on the study's web site. The instructor will not be immediately available to deliver the information auditory or to provide clarification for any misunderstood concepts or assignments.
Will I need to utilize 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 assistive technology you are using. Try to use your assistive technology as a guest on Blackboard to identify any challenges that you will encounter while engaged in online study.
How comfortable am I with computers and technology?
It is important to be aware of your current comfort level with technology and computers. Did you grown up with computers, are quite agile in manipulating the technology, are comfortable using all forms of technology? If no, then technology is more difficult to navigate and appears to be more mysterious. Accessing all course information and instruction in an online format may be more intimidating and stressful. Knowing your comfort level with computers and technology will allow you to determine whether or not online study is for you.
What do I expect of the online study?
It's important to be aware of your expectations of the online study. 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 study prior to enrolling and beginning the study, the better you can determine if online study is for you.
CWU Blackboard Resource Links for Online Learning
Online Learning Student FAQ's
Student Resources for Online Learning at CWU