Learn Online

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Important information for University of Minnesota students taking online courses

Many of your classes this semester will be offered in either an online or a blended format as part of the University’s efforts to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some tips and helpful resources to help you succeed.

Four Keys to Successful Online Learning

To succeed with online learning, you will want to make sure that you know your tools, understand how to organize your time and engage with your classes, can connect with U of M resources, and focus on your health and well-being.

Know Your Learning Tools

Locate the tools you need to access your online courses. Familiarize yourself with CanvasZoom, MyU, and related tools. You'll want to make sure you have the technology to access these resources on your device—preferably a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. Your phone will work for checking email, reading Canvas announcements, and attending Zoom meetings, but it should not be your main device for accessing your courses. You'll also need a stable internet connection.

Find Learning Tips for Your Classes

Organize your schedule. Dedicate time for each of your online and on-campus classes, and be prepared to attend live online lecture sessions via Zoom if required. Check Canvas, your syllabus, and your email for details from your instructors on upcoming assignments, testing changes, and other course expectations.

Your classes may be in-person (regularly scheduled meeting times), remote-instruction (completely online but with regularly scheduled meeting times), online (completely online with no set meeting times), or blended (a combination of delivery methods: in-person and online or remote). All classes will move to online during the last few weeks of the semester following the Thanksgiving holiday. Expect ongoing changes, and be patient with your instructors—and with yourself—as we all adjust to a new learning environment.

Connect with Student Resources

Connecting regularly with your instructors and advisor as your primary contacts is especially important during this period. In addition, the U of M can support you with tutoring, career services, counseling and mental health services, disability resources, writing, and much more.

Be Mindful of Your Health and Well-Being

Your health and safety should be a top priority. Take a moment to check in with your physical health: take proper precautions washing your hands and cleaning your devices, and seek care if you are ill.

Always consider your emotional well-being in this new environment. We know that transitioning to a larger number of online courses can be a big adjustment. Know where to go for help, and communicate any needs or limitations to your instructor.

Student and Faculty Perspectives

Online and blended learning can provide students with flexibility and opportunities to engage with their U of M program. Find out what students and instructors are saying about online learning in this video from UMD.

Want More? Check Out Learning Online 101.

Interested in learning more about self-motivation, time management, technical skills, and available student support? Get advice directly from UMN faculty and students in Learning Online 101.

Frequently Asked Questions

Start with the technology support unit on your campus, and they will connect with you with the resources you need:

  • For immediate help when you can't access class materials, contact 1-HELP (612-301-HELP).
  • For help while taking an exam, click on “Live Chat” to connect with Proctorio support personnel. You can also call or email Proctorio Support: 1-877-687-6411; support@proctorio.com.

Yes! Check with an advisor before taking courses at another campus to ensure the course will meet your general education or major requirements.

Fill out a copy of the multi-institutional form:

Have the form processed by your home campus. You will need to consult with your college advisor and financial aid office to complete the application. If you are planning to take online courses from more than one U of M campus, fill out a separate form for each campus.

Hours and online services are likely to vary across campuses. Visit the website of the campus service office directly for the most up to date information. Find many student services on the Health and Well-Being and Supporting Student Success pages.