Information To Review Before Taking Your First
Missouri Western State University Online Course

To effectively complete course assignments in online courses, students must be motivated and dedicated, have access to appropriate internet connection bandwidth, software and hardware, and be familiar with basic computer applications.

Please be sure to carefully review the course syllabus and to consult with your professor regarding technology requirements.

Check Moodle and your campus e-mail no later than the first day of the semester to begin communicating with your professor and studying the syllabus. As is true for face-to-face courses, you will need to secure appropriate items prior to the start of the course (certainly text book[s], possibly access code to supplemental materials, etc.)

Below is a check list you should review before enrolling in your first online course. If you need assistance with computer applications or processes related to successfully completing online courses (e.g., the ability to create pdfs, installing a current generation Internet browser), please see the various “helps” at If after reviewing the “helps” you desire additional assistance, please contact the Instructional Media Center at 816-271-4210.

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Check List

Online courses typically require a higher level of commitment, discipline, and active participation than many face-to-face courses.

Most online courses have a very structured calendar with clear deadlines for tests and assignments. Inactivity in an online course can be construed as an absence and may be reported by the instructor to Financial Aid Office and the Early Intervention Reporting System.

Success in online courses will be easier if students are comfortable and effective in expressing their opinion in writing to peers and instructors.

Success in online courses will be easier if students can work well in a group and can actively contribute their fair share to conversations, including the evaluation of other people’s ideas.

Success in online courses will be easier if students are good at completing tasks independently and do not need encouragement or reminders to complete assignments.

Success in online courses will be easier if students have good time management skills.

Success in online courses will be easier if students do not give up when confronted with technology-related obstacles (e.g., Internet connection issues, difficulty with downloads, difficulty with locating information, inability to contact instructor immediately, etc.), but seek advice and support from the instructor or the Instructional Media Center -

If your course involves the use of videos, you will need sufficient Internet connection bandwidth to view these videos. If you do not have sufficient bandwidth in the location where you plan to participate in an online course, you will need to find a location with sufficient bandwidth (e.g., coffee shop, public library), obtain more bandwidth, or change your course schedule.

Depending on whether your course requires auditory chats, video chats, or the creation of videos, you may need a microphone or a camera with a microphone that is embedded in your computer/cell phone/tablet or attached to your computer/cell phone/tablet.

You should be aware of your Internet browser’s type and version. Recommended browsers are: Chrome 57.0 & 58.0, Safari 9 & 10., Firefox 52.0 & 53.0, Internet Explorer 11.0, Microsoft Edge for Windows 10, Flash 24 and 25. Older browsers may have difficulty with some applications needed for your course. If you have a very old computer/cell phone/tablet with limited processing speed, you may encounter difficulties with the course. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to upgrade or replace your computer, cell phone, tablet and/or your browser. Please refer to the following page for recommended computer specifications:

Depending on the needs of your course, you may need to know how to create pdfs; create, save and transfer movies; use Google Docs; attach files to e-mails; etc. If you need assistance with these skills or have other questions regarding online courses, please refer to

Depending on the software you use and the age of your applications, you may also need to know how to open file types you normally don’t process (e.g., if you use Open Office and your classmates use Microsoft Word). If you need assistance, please refer to the FAQ page at

I have read and understood all of the above statements and I am ready to enroll in online courses at MWSU.

By checking this box I verify that I am , and agree to the statement below:

I own or have access to a computer on a daily basis and this computer has a current generation browser, a sound card, a current operating system, a video player, an office suite, a pdf reader, and sufficient bandwidth for online courses. If your answer is “no” to any of the above, STOP, secure the necessary items, and complete this check list at a later date.

Unless you believe you are ready to enroll in online courses, please delay enrolling in online courses.

Thank you for taking the Distance Education Readiness Assessment. Your submission has been recorded.

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