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Online Learning Resource Center

Online classes break time zone barriers and offer convenience and flexibility to students.  Online learning allows students to interact from locations around the world, bringing a level of diversity not often experienced in a traditional classroom setting.  Online learning does, however, require different skill sets tha​n those most students use in face-to-face college level coursework. Some students can find themselves unprepared for the expectations of the online classroom.

There are many points to consider when deciding if online learning is a format that fits your personal learning style and needs.  The resources below will help you understand the online learning enviro​nment, determine if it will meet your needs, and should you choose to move forward with online classes, help you prepare for online learning.​​

Taking a CMU Online course

Use these resources to learn more about on​line learning expectations, learning skills, and technical requirements:

    These resources will help you prepare for online courses.

    Preview a sample online course – log in and password are both “onlinepreview”

    Technical Requirements/Systems Check

    Online courses

    Online courses are delivered using CMU's instructional delivery tool, Blackboard, which is available 24/7. Students access lectures, submit assignments, take quizzes, and communicate with their instructors and other students through Blackboard. Textbooks are ordered through the CMU Bookstore.

    Most online classes are offered in an asynchronous format, meaning you log into class at a time that is convenient for you. That does not mean, however, that frequent and consistent access to the online class is not required, in fact, we strongly encourage it. Online classes may also meet online at scheduled times for chat sessions; this will be determined by the instructor in each course.  Refer to the course syllabus for any scheduled live meeting times. All online classes follow the Eastern Standard Time zone (EST) for defining the start and end of a week within the online term, any synchronous meeting times, drop and withdrawal deadline times and assignment and exam submission times. CMU recommends completing online course requirements through the use of a computer or laptop.  While a mobile device, such as a cell phone or tablet, is compatible with Blackboard, they are not suited to all the technical features Blackboard can provide that may be encountered in your online courses.  A computer will ensure the ability to successfully access and submit coursework as well as provide a more robust learning experience.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure consistent and reliable access to a computer and internet throughout the duration of their course.

    Some online undergraduate courses may require students to take exams in a proctored setting. Refer to the course syllabus to determine if your online undergraduate course requires a proctor to administer your exams.

    Mobile devices

    While a cell phone or tablet (e.g., iPad, Kindle, Chromebook) might be compatible with the Blackboard app, some technical features are not suited for use with a mobile device; therefore, do not plan to complete online coursework with a mobile device.

    Distance learner services

    The Central Michigan University Libraries offers a full range of services and resources to students taking classes online and at one of our centers. Wherever you're taking your classes, we will help you with your research.

    Distance students have full access to the journals, books and other materials owned by the library.