Readiness Index for Learning Online (RILO) 

Online learning offers a convenient way to fulfill your coursework requirements. You can attend class at your convenience-early in the morning, late at night, or whenever best fits your schedule. However, online learning also requires a unique personal commitment to your education. RILO© gives you an opportunity to assess your readiness for online learning, and helps you plan for strategies to assure your success.

Before beginning an online course, it may be helpful to take a few minutes and use RILO to determine if this type of coursework is for you, and how you can become a successful learner! Before beginning RILO, please consider the following:

  • Although online learning requires greater self-discipline, it also can give you more freedom to "attend" class at times that are more convenient to you.
  • Online courses use written discussion and interaction and not face-to-face contact with professors or classmates.
  • Online courses offer the benefit of being able to attend lectures or review discussions multiple times, thus increasing your ability to achieve course goals.
  • Online courses offer the ability to be on an even playing field with your classmates.
  • Online courses are technology-based and require you to possess a certain comfort level with computers, software, and online service providers.

Please read the following questions carefully, and select the answer that best describes you. In order to receive feedback that is helpful to your decision-making process, be certain to consider each question thoughtfully and honestly:

The following section of the survey will help you assess the differences between learning in a face-to-face learning environments and an online learning environment.

1. Face-to-face interaction with the instructor is:
  a. An important part of the learning process for me.
  b. Only somewhat important for me.
  c. Not necessary for my success.
 
2. Participating in face-to-face classroom discussions and receiving feedback from classmates is:
  a. A central part of my learning style.
  b. Only somewhat helpful to me.
  c. Not so important to me.
 
3. I consider myself to be:
  a. Someone who usually completes assignments on time or ahead of schedule.
  b. Someone who needs to occasionally be reminded of deadlines.
  c. A procrastinator.
 
4. I consider my reading skills to be:
  a. Excellent-I rarely need assistance with deriving meaning from text.
  b. Good-Occasionally I need help to understand the text.
  c. Fair-I frequently need help in understanding what I have read.
 
5. I rely on the instructor to remind me of assignments and deadlines:
  a. Rarely.
  b. Sometimes.
  c. Almost always.
 
6. The type of learning environment I learn best in is:
  a. An independent study environment offering self-taught learning.
  b. A student-centered environment: I'm on my own, but have help as needed.
  c. A teacher-directed environment with all material explained in detail.
 
7. To do my best, I like to work independently:
  a. Always—I enjoy figuring things out for myself!
  b. Sometimes, but I like to have help available when I need it.
  c. Not very often—I'd rather be in a structured classroom.
 
8. I expect that the amount of time it will take to complete this course online will be:
  a. More time than a course taught on site.
  b. About the same amount of time as a course taught on site.
  c. Less time than a course taught on site.
 
9. For me, reading text on a computer screen:
  a. Is more convenient than reading printed text.
  b. Is about the same as reading from a book.
  c. Is difficult, so I usually print the screen.
 
10. When assessing my own progress, I am:
  a. Able to accurately judge my progress and keep track of my grades.
  b. Usually able to judge accurately and am able to track my own grades.
  c. Often confused and require frequent feedback.
     

The following section of the survey will help you assess your technology readiness for online learning.

11. When confronted with technology that is new to me, I:
  a. Jump in eagerly—I love to learn new things.
  b. Tread cautiously—I am somewhat apprehensive, but will explore a little.
  c. Delay—I really don't like to explore new technologies if I can help it.
 
12. Around computers, I feel:
  a. Confident. I can run applications, download and upload files, install/configure software, and do minor troubleshooting.
  b. OK. I can use word processing software, and generally manage files.
  c. Uncomfortable. I have little experience using them.
 
13. I use e-mail:
  a. Daily. I am able to send and read messages, attach files and open attachments easily.
  b. Periodically. I can send and read messages, and paste text from a word processing document into an e-mail message.
  c. Rarely.
 
14. My experience with the World-Wide Web is:
  a. Extensive. I frequently research using online databases and surf for fun. I'm very comfortable with it.
  b. Moderate. I use search engines occasionally, but mostly surf for fun.
  c. Minimal. I've heard of the Web and can surf with assistance.
 
15. I know that Netscape and Internet Explorer are examples of:
  a. Web browsers.
  b. Word processing applications.
  c. Search engines.
 
16. When asked about Web search engines and directories, I:
  a. Can name the major players and explain how they differ.
  b. Can use the Search button on my web browser's tool bar.
  c. Know that I have heard of them.
 
17. When asked to learn new software, I feel:
  a. Excited. I love to jump right in and learn new software.
  b. A little nervous. I may need some help, but I think I can do it.
  c. Overwhelmed. I prefer a lot of one-on-one assistance.
 
18. My access to an Internet-ready computer is:
  a. Fine. I have access to a computer anytime I need it.
  b. Manageable. I know where I can go and the hours of availability.
  c. Limited. I don't know where to find one, or if I have one.
 
19. When researching, I:
  a. Frequently research online and am confident of the results I obtain.
  b. Sometimes do research online, but double check it at the library.
  c. Avoid doing online research if I can help it.
 
20. If I run into computing difficulties or have problems accessing the Internet, I:
  a. Know how to get help from the correct support resources.
  b. Have some knowledge about available technology resources.
  c. Wouldn't have a clue where to get assistance.
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Republished 2007 with written permission of The Trustees of Indiana University.
© RILO developed by Serena Novosel, MS, Indiana University School of Nursing