Walsh College

COM 510 Technical Capabilities

Online classes are widely popular in large part due to their convenience: they allow
students the most flexibility in terms of choosing when to engage with course content.
The fact that an online class can fit into nearly every student's schedule, however, often
overshadows the fact that not every student is a good fit for an online class.
Online classes -- or, more specifically, the online Business Communications classes
that we teach at Walsh -- require a level of technical savvy that not all students possess.
If you are considering registering for an online class, for example, you should:

  • know what a url is, know what a browser is, and know where to find the url in the browser window
  • know what cookies are and what a cache is
  • be able to empty the cache in both Chrome and Firefox
  • be able to open and work in multiple tabs or windows in both Chrome and Firefox
  • be able to find and apply software updates
  • have a microphone and webcam, and know how to use video capture software
  • be able to find, manage, upload, and download files
  • understand netiquette and email best practices
  • be able to understand and follow directions pertaining to technical issues
  • be able to troubleshoot and fix basic computer issues

These are, in my experience, the basic competencies that students must have in order to be successful in our online classes. It is of course possible for students without these competencies to take classes online. These students, however, often find the convenience of the online class overshadowed by the frustration of dealing with technical issues that they are not yet equipped to handle.


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