We have played around for several years with different tutorials, and sample courses, and other things to try to help students do a self-assessment for their readiness to take online courses. Lately I've been thinking that maybe we need to go even further.
I'm not so sure that we are in a position where we can require that they complete a readiness assessment before they are allowed to register for their first online course. However, I do think that we can make available to them a much more thorough readiness assessment that will give them and us a much better picture of whether they have the skills needed to succeed in e-learning.
At the conference I took a good look at the READI tool. This assesses 5 areas of readiness:
- Typing speed and accuracy
- On-screen reading speed and comprehension
- Technical competence skills
- Individual Attributes
- Preferred Learning Styles
Most of those sections are probably self-explanatory except the Individual Attributes section. According to their website:
"... identified the individual attributes which are significant predictors of success in an online learning environment. These are variables such as motivation, procrastination, time availability, and willingness to seek help. "
I think that the preferred learning style information might be even more important for us to gather than the technical competence skills. There are other tools out there but this does seem to be quite comprehensive and I like the fact that we can really try it out before we have to start paying for it.