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Requirements and Recommendations for Online Students

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Requirements and Recommendations for Online Students

Before taking an online course, review these requirements, recommendations, and myths about online learning.


Note that Nazareth online courses use Moodle (see Moodle for Students).

Are you ready for an online course?

Technology requirements (hardware and software)

  • Microsoft Office or equivalent; instructors expect you to save papers in ".doc" format
  • Current version of a Moodle-supported web browser (recommended: Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox)
  • Up-to-date virus protection
  • Computer with sound, video, and high-speed internet connection
  • Backup capability- for example, GoogleDocs, DropBox, flash drive)

Additional technology requirements for the Advanced Certificate in Piano Pedagogy

  • students are required to mark up and annotate electronic copies of scores; for this reason students are required to have a markup and annotation capability for PDF files, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro or freeware with basic markup/annotation capability.
  • students are also required to video record their piano instruction; for this reason, students are required to have a computer (or computer-compatible devices) that can play and record video and audio.


  • IT IS NOT correct that online courses are less work than face-to-face courses.
  • IT IS NOT correct that online courses are independent studies; students in online courses collaborate with each other throughout the course, interacting several times each week.
  • IT IS NOT correct that online students can go completely at their own pace in an online course; there are weekly and sometimes twice-weekly due dates.
  • IT IS correct that the successful online student is
    • self-directed and self-disciplined
    • has at least intermediate-level skill with standard office software
    • able to use web browsers and search engines to accomplish internet research
    • able to upload and download material from the internet
    • familiar with using library databases to find pertinent articles, books, music, media, and other non-print materials
    • able to communicate clearly in writing
    • cognizant of copyright, fair use guidelines, and intellectual property constraints
    • proficient with online communication practices such as Netiquette, email, and online chat
  • Not sure if you're ready for online learning? Check the topics on Technical skills readiness, Work habits readiness, and Communication skills readiness

Technical skills readiness

  • Are you comfortable using a computer and working with various applications?
  • Do you have regular access to a computer with high-speed internet connection?
  • Do you organize your files and electronic materials?
  • Can you easily find copies of your work and find materials you have downloaded?
  • Do you routinely back up your work?
  • Are you able to use web browsers to research information?
  • Can you search library databases for articles and other resources for a paper or project?
  • Can you confidently write and format documents using a word processing program?
  • Do you use technology to communicate- for example, using email and facebook?
  • Can you find, use, and download images, sound, video, and multimedia materials?
  • Can you download and install apps, plugins, and programs?

Work habits readiness

  • Are you comfortable working and learning without structured class time?
  • Do you schedule your time well to meet your commitments?
  • Do you strive to do well in your course work?
  • Do you avoid procrastinating about your course work?
  • Do you turn in assignments on time without reminders?
  • Do you take notes on readings or when viewing audio or video clips?
  • Do you persevere when confronted with challenges, asking for help as needed?
  • Do you enjoy interacting with classmates, individually or in group projects?

Communication skills readiness

  • Are you confident of your writing skills?
  • Do you know how to paraphrase, quote, and give credit for other people's ideas?
  • Is reading and writing college-level English easy enough for you?
  • Is reading online materials easy enough for you?
  • Have you used email or other online technology to contact an instructor- for example, Nazareth email or Skype?
  • Have you used technology to communicate with other students for a group project- for example, Moodle wikis or Google Hangout?
  • Have you participated in online discussions- for example, Moodle forums?
  • Are you very comfortable with online communications and comfortable in an online environment?
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