Distance Learning

Is Distance Learning for Me?

Types of Distance Learning Courses

Three types of online classes are offered at Montana Tech

  1. 100% Online - anytime, anywhere. These classes have no face-to-face interaction between students and instructors.
    Example: Assignments, discussions, activities do not require you to be at a certain place at a certain time. Some instructors may require you to arrange for a proctor for quizzes and exams. Refer to your individual course for specific requirements.
  2. Blended - a mix between online and face-to-face. While some face-to-face time is required, it is reduced when compared to the equivalent credit classroom course.
    Example: You may have to attend class, one hour per week with the remaining coursework completed online. Refer to the individual course requirements."
  3. Video Conferencing - Course are offered through scheduled interactive video and/or desktop conferencing.
    Example: The class meets at a scheduled time, but videoconferencing methods such as Zoom are used instead of meeting in a classroom, which allows class participants to see and/or hear one another.

Skills & Access

Use this checklist of basic computer skills to determine if you are ready to take an online course.


  • I have access to and know how to use a computer and a mouse.
  • I know how to use Help menus to look for answers to my questions.
  • I know the difference between closing, minimizing, and hiding windows, and closing a program.
  • I know how to use the right-click menu functions on the mouse.
  • I know how to download and install programs or plugins.
  • I know how to delete files.
  • I know how to empty the recycle bin.
  • I know where to go for help if I have problems.

Word Processing Skills

  • I know how to create a document with a word processor such as Microsoft Word.
  • I know how to open and close documents.
  • I know how to use spell check to check my documents for accuracy.
  • I know how to copy and paste text.
  • I know how to use the undo/redo functions.
  • I know how to create new folders.
  • I know how to save documents as different file types such as rtf, html, text only, etc.
  • I know how to print documents.

Internet and Web

  • I know how to use a search engine like Google.
  • I know how to open a web page with the URL address.
  • I know that I need to be aware of copyright issues when using information taken from the internet/web.
  • I know what plagiarism is.


  • I know how to compose, send, receive, and forward email messages.
  • I know how to attach files to email messages.
  • I know how to open files that are attached to an email.


(some of these skills will be acquired during the online course)

  • I have read the student user guide for MyMtech and Moodle.
  • My computer meets the minimum requirements for working with Moodle and MyMtech.
  • I know how to log in and out of Moodle.
  • I know how to read announcements and look up calendar events in Moodle.
  • I know how to use the Forums feature in Moodle.
  • I know how to submit an assignment to my instructor in Moodle.

Personal Characteristics Conducive to Online Learning

  • I am self-motivated.
  • I can meet deadlines.
  • I am comfortable asking for help if I need it.
  • I am comfortable communicating in writing.
  • I have enough time to dedicate to this class.
  • I have good reading comprehension skills.
  • I am self-disciplined enough to keep up with course readings and assignments, and participate in class regularly without constant prompting from my professor.

If you can answer yes to most of these statements, you are likely a good candidate for an online course. If you answered no to most of these statements, you should be aware that you may face certain challenges until you become comfortable with the online setting.