Online Learning Readiness

Madison Online uses Canvas as our learning platform. In Canvas, we strive to create intuitively-designed learning experiences using best practices to enable you to meet the learning objectives in every course. As an online student you will interact with a wide variety of people with different experiences and from different backgrounds and places. You will engage with ideas, information, and others in your course to meet a series of learning activities based on the syllabus for that specific course and designed to be comparable to courses offered face-to-face in terms of quality, level of academic challenge, and content. You can expect to find assignments and resources in your class such as:


  • Textbooks
  • Articles from online sources
  • Peer-reviewed research articles
  • Blog posts


  • Professor-created video recordings from their office or in the field
  • Videos from online sources to which we subscribe or that are open to the public
  • Recorded lectures
  • Student-created video


  • Podcast recordings from your professor or others
  • Audio recordings of online sources


  • Synchronous or asynchronous online discussions between students, your professor, and others that may be conducted using text, or audio/video conferencing tools
  • Collaborative group projects
  • Interactions with simulations of real, theoretical, or hypothetical data or situations


  • Tests and quizzes, which may be proctored online or in-person
  • Projects that may be completed as a group or individually
  • Written, audio, or video assignments
  • Project-based assessment in which a product is produced

Your courses will be developed by faculty who are experts in their fields, instructional designers who are specialists at designing learning experiences online, librarians who know the specific content area, and skilled professionals who help to craft multimedia or simulation content for your learning.

You will have access to the same services and support we provide to students who physically come to campus every day, such as tutoring, career assistance, faculty advising, financial aid assistance, disability services, and more.

Tips for Online Learning Success

  • Be sure you know your username and password and how to access your online courses.
  • Be sure to check in to your course for the first time within the first two days of the start of term.
  • Read the entire course syllabus and check for any special instructions from the instructor — be aware of any instructor expectations as well as any assignment/ activity deadlines.
  • Spend time touring your online class to become familiar with where to find assignments and activities — click on all the links and read the content.
  • Follow the assignments and associated deadlines as identified on the syllabus and/or special course instructions.
  • Forward your email from Canvas to an email account you read every day.
  • Establish a routine for participating in course activities by placing study times and assignment due dates on your calendar.
  • Check in to your online course at least 3 times each week.
  • Contact your instructor if you have a question or concern, according to the directions on the syllabus.

Wondering how much time you will need to spend each week to be successful? Take the number of credit hours you have signed up for, and multiply that by three. This will be the minimum number of hours per week you can expect to spend studying, learning, and working on class assignments. Plan on slightly more time if you are a graduate student. 

Back to Top