Guide to Online Learning

The College of Liberal Arts uses Canvas as our learning management system to deliver courses that are fully online and to supplement in-person or blended courses. Canvas lets you access course material, submit assignments, take quizzes, view grades, and interact with your classmates and instructors through online discussions and direct messaging.

With Canvas you can:

  • See a quick overview of recent activities and tasks across all of your Canvas courses in one place on the main dashboard

  • Receive notifications from your instructors and classmates via email, text message, or social media

  • Stay organized with the Calendar that aggregates all assignments and other due dates across all of your Canvas courses

Canvas can be accessed through the MyU portal under Key Links or on the Academics tab, or by going directly to You can also download mobile apps for Canvas at the Getting Started page.

Technology You Will Need

CLA recommends these technology requirements for adequate online connection and to be able to use Canvas effectively.

Strategies for Success

This list of Online Learning Tips and Resources can help you stay connected and be successful while learning remotely.

Tutorial: Learning Online 101

Learning Online 101 is a self-paced course that prepares you for technical and academic success in online and hybrid courses. The course touches on self-motivation, time management, technical skills, and available student support, including advice directly from UMN faculty and students, which all contribute to greater success in online classes. Learning Online 101 typically takes 2 to 4 hours to complete.


The University has licenses for all current students to host online Zoom meetings for up to 300 people at no cost to students. Consult this Zoom Guide.

Google Apps

All students have access to Google tools like Gmail, Chat, Meet, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more. Consult this G Suite Guide.

Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is available for students at no charge. Download Office 365 for productivity and collaboration tools like Word, Excel, and more.

Tech Support

The University’s Technology Help service desk is open 24/7 and available via email at, phone at 612-301-4357, and chat to help answer any questions you may have.