What technical/computer abilities should a student have to participate in an online class? Why are they necessary? How would you (or your institution) ascertain that these have been met?

‘The learning environment of an online course differs greatly from the traditional classroom bound environment. Skills like time management and self-discipline will surely help the online student, IT skills are equally important.’

Online learners that do not possess an ECDL or ICT literacy certificate would benefit from sitting for an online IT test. This way the online institution would be able to measure the level of IT literacy of the students, thus guiding them accordingly to achieve the necessary IT skills.

I looked for some foreign universities/ colleges that provide online learning to see how they address to this… They all address the importance of being IT literate but it was difficult to find an institution that actually provides a solution, meaning providing a course to obtain the necessary IT skills… maybe institutions don’t do this so not to discourage a student and therefore not losing income? 

At last managed to find this…

eg 1: “The following aptitude and minimum computer skills are recommended for students taking Web courses. Students are responsible for assessing their own skill level. Your instructor will not be teaching these skills as part of the course. If you do not possess these skills, consider taking a computer literacy course offered at Stark State College”

http://www.starkstate.edu/content/skills-needed-online-learning

As one can notice among the skills needed for online learning, this college highlights the importance of IT literacy but also offers a solution to this, however it seems that it is up to the student discretion; they are not testing the student but at least apart highlighting this needs they are supporting these needs by offering a literacy course themselves! 

All institutions are there to make business, thus I see IT illiteracy as another business opportunity. If institutions are enough business minded, they should be offering an IT literacy course to those who don’t possess these skills. This would render them more profit and also successful students! 

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