Essential Tools for Online College Coursework


Essential Tools for Online College Coursework

When you’re taking a course in a college classroom or lecture hall, you can usually get away with just a simple pen and paper. That’s not the case with online college degree coursework, however. Students need a host of technology and tools to view lectures, submit assignments and so much more. Read on for two college tech checklists to help you prepare for success in an online college degree program.

Let’s begin with the most essential items you’ll need to participate in online courses and submit assignments:


  • A reliable internet connection
  • A Wi-Fi extender to cover “dead zones” or help with spotty connections
  • A computer that meets your specific needs and your college’s requirements
  • USB drives to store and backup your notes and assignments
  • Word processing software like Microsoft Word

In addition to the must-have technology listed above, you can use the tools in the following list to increase your productivity and enhance your efficiency:


  • A dedicated study space
  • An external monitor connected to your laptop
  • A second external monitor for enhanced productivity
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • A vertical mouse for maximum comfort
  • A note-taking app
  • A reusable notebook that uploads handwritten notes to cloud storage

If you know you won’t have access to the must-have items in the first list, you’ll have to thoughtfully consider whether an online college degree program is truly right for you. After all, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. While the nice-to-haves in the second list might remove a few bumps in the road, they are not essential to success in online college. Still, you should think through any unique tools you feel you might need in order to make the most of your online college experience.

Online college degree programs may require you to use a bit more technology than you’re accustomed to, but having the right tools – and knowing how to use them – will contribute to your success and feelings of accomplishment.

Editorial credit: Myriam B /

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