This website is intended to provide you with the resources you need to be a successful online student. You should gain an understanding of how an online course is set up, how to navigate it effectively, and how to collaborate and submit your academic work.  In addition to this, you may learn more about resources available to you as an online student at the University of Michigan - Flint. 

Let’s begin by looking at what you should expect as an online student.

Online Learning: What to Expect

From the technical point-of-view, it is recommended to have regular access to a computer, dependable Internet connection, word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software, while taking online courses. Your courses will be facilitated in Blackboard, which allows you to access lectures from your professors, interact with your classmates and instructor, complete and submit assignments and assessments, and keep track of your progress by checking your grades.


It is important to know that the major difference between online and traditional courses is the delivery format--not the content. A popular misconception is that online courses are easier than traditional classroom courses. However, online courses are equivalent in breadth and depth of content, workload, and quality of learning to traditional classroom courses, but the teaching and learning activities in the online learning environment may be somewhat different than the teaching and learning activities in on-campus courses.

Below are some simple best practices you can put into action to be a successful online student:

  • Log in regularly

    • Logging in daily can help you to keep track of your course and avoid surprises.
  • Pay attention to Announcements
  • Carefully review the Course Information area of your course
    • Save your syllabus for later reference
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to complete assignments and exams.
    • Instructors are less likely to be accommodating of your technical issues if you experience them just before a deadline.  A computer that freezes at 11:57 p.m. the night an exam is due is a much bigger problem than a glitch two days before the test window closes.
  • Expect to work
    • Just because the class is online, don’t expect it to be a breeze.  Homework, tests, and participation are a part of online courses, too.
  • Make your own schedule and stick to it
    • Though your instructor may not require you to be online on any certain day at a certain time, make a schedule for yourself to establish a rhythm for the course.  Have a two hour break on Monday and Wednesdays?  Use that window as time for your online class.
  • Check your UM-Flint email regularly
    • Your instructors won’t know your personal email address, so keep an eye on your email address.  Any messages from your instructors, classmates, financial aid, the Registrar, and all other departments on campus will be sent to this address, so don’t fail to check it regularly.
  • Ask Questions
    • Please contact your professor if you have questions regarding course content, due dates, exams, grades, resetting a test, etc.

Online Section Types

When you register for classes you will notice different meeting types listed than what you might be used to seeing. If you are not familiar, please review the different types below as you make your selection.

Watch(4min): Explanation of Online Course Modalities

Face to Face Courses

These courses will have face to face meeting times on campus. Prior to the beginning of semester you will receive information about on-campus requirements in the classroom that will include wearing a mask. These courses may include “HyperFlex” options, where some students will join the course in person on one day a week and some will join remotely. If your course will use this technology you will be notified prior to the start of the semester.

Online Synchronous

These courses will be fully online, but they will require you to attend remotely at a particular time and day as indicated by Time and Days. These online courses will meet at regular times via remote conferencing tools with live instructor interaction. (No face to face/on campus meeting.) This type of course will likely contain some additional asynchronous content. For example: syllabus, lecture files, and readings.

Online Asynchronous

These courses will be fully online and do not have a specific time where class attendance is required. These courses are comprised of learning activities that students can complete on their own time, with regular deadlines that keep them on track. Students will engage in the majority of course materials without the instructor present. The Time will always be listed as TBA for these courses as there is no set meeting time.

Mixed Mode Courses

These courses will have both online (may be synchronous or asynchronous) and on-campus elements. The multiple schedule lines indicate when on-campus meetings are required and when online attendance is required.

Continue to Course Content