Are online courses right for you? These frequently asked questions will help you make an informed decision.


How are the online courses delivered?

Our courses are delivered using the Canvas learning management system. You will receive instructions on how to access prior to the start of a course.

Do I need to attend class at a specific time?

Our Mini-MPA and Public Leadership courses are asynchronous, meaning that they are self-paced with no scheduled meeting times and can be completed as the participant’s schedule permits. Course assignments, however, do have scheduled deadlines.

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program is fully online and involves live Zoom sessions. Dates and times of live sessions are advertised on the course schedule. Registrants should have their camera turned on for the entire duration of the session, as well as try to minimize distractions during the session. 

How does an asynchronous course work?

An asynchronous course is self-paced, meaning that participants have no scheduled meeting time and can access the course as their schedule permits. The course modules may include recorded lectures, instructor-led discussion boards, and assignments. The courses are designed to facilitate instructor and student interaction and engagement. 

When can I access my course? 

Courses can be accessed on their scheduled start date. Please note that a course may not be open and accessible prior to scheduled start date.

Do I need any special equipment for an online course?

For the best experience, you will likely need:

  • Computer: current Mac (OS X), PC (Windows 7 or newer), or tablet (up-to-date iOS or Android)
  • Internet: high-speed (wired strongly recommended) internet connection
  • Speakers: built in speakers or audio output device

A camera and microphone are required for our Mini-MPA™ and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) courses.

Do I need any special software for an online course?

For the best experience, you will likely need:

  • Up-to-date browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Explorer, etc.) and email client (Mail, Outlook, Gmail, Thunderbird, etc.)
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Reader
  • Office/productivity software (Office 365, iWork, Open Office, Google Docs, etc.)

Do I need any special technology skills to take an online course?

Participants should be able to:

  • Navigate the internet using a web browser.
  • Submit information via online forms (e.g. online text-editor)
  • Upload and download files
  • Communicate via email, including sending attachments
  • Use word processing applications to create documents

If you have not used the Canvas learning management system before, please refer to our quick guide to Getting Started.