Distance Learning 101
Technical Skills Checklist

Most students who have experience browsing the internet already have the technical skills necessary to succeed in an online course. This checklist can help you make sure. Answer "Yes" or "No" to each item, then click "Score" to get your results. If there are areas where you feel less comfortable or need a review of the basics, take advantage of the online tutorial links at the end of the assessment.

1. Are you familiar with word processing tasks such as cutting, copying, and pasting text in a document, and using editing features such as the spell checker and thesaurus?


2. Do you know how to save a file and create a new folder/directory on your computer?


3. Can you distinguish between a website URL and an email address?


4. Are you familiar with using Internet search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo?


5. Do you know how to use the "Bookmark" or "Favorites" feature of your browser?


6. Do you know how to attach a file to an email, and open an incoming email attachment?


7. Can you save and retrieve files from storage devices such as a USB flash drive or external drive?


8. Can you download and install browser plug-ins for common software applications such as Adobe Reader, Flash, QuickTime, RealPlayer, etc.?


9. Are you familiar with using technology to communicate, such as through online discussion forums, instant messaging, or video chat?


10. Have you activated your ACCmail account?



How did you do?

If you scored from 8-10: Your technical skills are sufficient to make a Distance Learning course a good choice for you. Check the online syllabus to see if special software programs are required for the course.

If you scored from 5-7: Your familiarity with computer operations and the level of your technical skills may cause you some difficulty with Distance Learning. Check the online syllabus to find out what kind of technical skills will be required to successfully participate in the course.

If you scored 4 or fewer: You should develop your computer and electronic literacy skills to increase your level of participation and success in distance education courses relying on technology.

What's the next step for you?

Whatever your assessment score, the self-help links below are worth your time, and may give you that extra measure of confidence and success in your Distance Learning coursework.

  • net.TUTOR   (Developed by The Ohio State University Libraries)
  • Learn the Net   (Trademark of Michael Lerner Productions)

All ACC campuses have Computer Labs where students can learn and apply new skills and use course-specific software applications.

ACC also offers a variety of computer skills courses for college-credit and continuing education credit. Check the credit Course Schedule or CE Schedule for options.

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