Southern Union State Community College

Technical Skills for Online Learning

Minimal Technical Skills Requirements for Successful Online Learning

Students who enroll in an online course are responsible for having enough computer skills to accomplish the tasks that will be expected of them.  The student should be aware that 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 computer knowledge before you attempt an online class.  

*Students taking an online or hybrid course at Southern Union are required to enroll in ORI 111 Online Learning Basics as a corequisite to their first online course at the college.  This is a one credit hour course that is a tutorial for the Learning Management System used by the College as well as general information about taking online classes.  ORI 111 must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

Computer Literacy

You need to have a basic knowledge of computer operations and browsing the Internet in order to be successful in an online course. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Knowledge of 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, saving files in different formats
    • Sending and downloading attachments
  • Internet skills (connecting, accessing, 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